The Cincinnati Reds (14-17) beat the Chicago Cubs (18-13) on Friday night behind a strong start by Tyler Mahle that almost got away from the bullpen. After a long slump to start the year, Eugenio Suárez continued his tear over the last 10 games by going 3-3 with a walk, double, home run, and he drove in three runs as he helped lead the offense that got just enough across the plate on the day.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (18-13)
5 6 1
Cincinnati Reds (14-17)
6 11 1
W: Mahle (1-1) L: Hendricks (3-4)  SV: Iglesias (4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st, it was Eugenio Suárez who put the Reds on the board to lead off the bottom of the second with a solo homer – his 7th home run of the season. That cut into the Cubs lead, making it 2-1.

The offense went quiet for a bit, but the hottest hitter on the planet, Jesse Winker, got things going again to lead off the bottom of the 4th by crushing a change up 397 feet and well into the right-center seats to tie the game up at 2-2. Eugenio Suárez crushed a double into left-center and then scored on Matt Davidson’s single – his first hit against a right-handed pitcher all season.

In the bottom of the 5th the Reds started stringing together the hits. Nick Castellanos singled, Jesse Winker doubled, and then the BABIP gods started looking out for the Reds with an Eugenio Suárez blooper just over the infield to bring in two runs with two outs and made it 5-2 for the Redlegs. In the bottom of the 8th inning it was Freddy Galvis joining in on the fun, crushing an opposite field solo homer to extend the Reds lead to 6-2.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle didn’t get out to the best start, giving up two solo homers in the top of the 1st inning to put the Reds in a 2-0 hole before the team ever stepped to the plate. After walking Jason Heyward to lead off the 2nd inning, Mahle settled in to retire the next eight hitters before again walking Heyward with two outs in the top of the 4th. That wouldn’t come back to haunt, though it was pretty close, as David Bote flew out to the warning track in center to end the inning. The 5th inning was another clean one for Mahle as he picked up his 8th and 9th strikeouts of the night before getting Ian Happ to ground out to end the frame as the rain began to fall from the night sky. With the rain still coming down, Mahle picked up strikeouts 10 and 11 after an Anthony Rizzo ground out to start the 6th as he held onto a 5-2 lead.

The 7th inning for Tyler Mahle was his last, but at no fault of his own. After a long fly ball to center went for out number one, an error on Mike Moustakas put Jason Heyward on first. Then David Bote hit what looked like a perfect double play ball to shortstop, but Jose Garcia couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly at first and Cincinnati only got a force out at second. That was the last hitter that Mahle faced as David Bell went to the bullpen to bring Amir Garrett into the game to face Victor Caratini. The move worked as the left-handed reliever struck out Caratini to end the inning and the threat to hold onto the Reds lead.

Garrett returned for the 8th inning. After retiring Jason Kipnis, Ian Happ singled – the first hit the Cubs had since the 1st inning. That set up another Amir Garrett vs Anthony Rizzo matchup and it worked out quite well for Cincinnati as Garrett induced a ground ball double play to end the inning.

Robert Stephenson came out for the 9th inning, holding a 6-2 lead and looking for three outs. He needed just four pitches to strike out Javier Báez for the first out. Kyle Schwarber hit a line drive into center that went off the tip of the glove of a leaping Jose Garcia. That played big as Willson Contreras homered in the following at-bat to make it 6-4. Jason Heyward, who seemed to be the only Cub all night to do much of anything beyond the first inning kept that theme going with a solo homer of his own to make it 6-5.

That was all that the manager needed to see as the Reds went to Raisel Iglesias to try and record the final two outs of the game. He retired David Bote on two pitches on a weak fly ball to Jesse Winker in shallow left field. That brought Victor Caratini to the plate with the game on the line. Advantage Iglesias, who got a weak ground out to Freddy Galvis to end the game.

Notes worth noting

During the game the Cincinnati Reds announced that they had traded left-handed reliever Cody Reed to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed pitching prospect Riley O’Brien.

Reds trade Cody Reed to Tampa Bay for Riley O’Brien

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

(Double Header) Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday August 29th, 4:10pm ET

Yu Darvish (5-1, 1.70 ERA) vs Trevor Bauer (3-1, 1.65 ERA)

26 Responses

  1. RedNat

    I still haven’t given up on the ideaVotto batting leadoff!

    • jim walker

      Even if JV gets his OBP going great guns, I wouldn’t want to see him in the leadoff spot. At this point in his career, he can’t go 1st to 3rd on singles, score from 1st on doubles or be a good hit and run candidate, contributions he made early on and into his prime.

      Yes, I want a high OBP guy leading off; but, I am old school enough I want him to be an aggressive and disruptive base runner as well.

    • JayTheRed

      Yah I can’t see Votto as a good choice anymore at leadoff. Honestly I am beginning to thing he should be batting like 6th or 7th in the order at this point in his career.

      I know Joey is really tough on himself and I hope he comes back to be like a 270 hitter or so with on base of around .330. Sure he will probably pop a few more home runs to.

    • TR

      I can’t see that. Votto as DH, if he’s in the groove.

  2. RedAlert

    Leadoff man for sure a problem. I’d Pit Stephenson in at catcher – Reds are weak offensively there too

  3. Charlie Waffles

    Good win. 3 wins in a row is officially a winning streak. Mahle making a statement that he wants a permanent rotation spot. Suarez joining the hit parade has been a shot in the arm.
    Where was Sam Lecure tonight? Absent from the studio. Was it a scheduled night for Danny Graves? Lecure has been fairly critical of David Bell in the post game shows since the meltdown game in STL. Monday night he was pretty critical of Bell. Tuesday night he again was pretty critical of Bell. Then last night after a double header sweep he again was critical. He even caught himself after realizing he may had gone over the line. And lo and behold Lecure is nowhere in sight tonight. Did Lecure get an unpaid vacation? I appreciated his candor, but I am sure some in the powers that be did not.

    • Amarillo

      He said on yesterday’s broadcast he had the weekend off.

  4. jim walker

    After the Reds took the 5-2 lead, I put the game into thumbnail mode on my tablet and was paying more attention to something else.

    I noted the Galvis HR and maximized the game in time to see BobSteve make the hitter look sick on the 1st out of the 9th. At that point I thumbnailed it again only to check back for the final and about fall off the couch when I saw 6-5.

    I am glad the Reds won but probably even more glad I missed the near meltdown.

    • Aaron B.

      And so much for the Galvis fractional WAR nonsense I am always hearing about on this board… today he blasted one seemingly meaningless and it was a difference maker.,… even if he is a bench player is a good guy to have on your team that can play anywhere in the infield on the cheap. I honestly feel we underpay him, I hope Suarez buys him some dinners.

    • TR

      It just shows what an extra run can mean even when the game is going your way.

  5. RedNat

    I have been thinking a lot about the leadoff spot. The reds really haven’t had an EFFECTIVE traditional leadoff man since the Bip Roberts days and before that Billy Hatcher. They are not easy to come by. That is why it always disappoints me when we are so quick to give up guys like Jose Siri, Taylor Trammel, Jeter Downs,Shed Long. The Reds are so obsessed with ” getting the pitching”, that they are willing to give all their potential leadoff guys away. Drives me bonkers.

    Doesn’t look like Shogo is the answer. I guess all are hopes and dreams are with Nick Senzel now at the top of the order

  6. Mark Moore

    Nail biter at the end, but we managed to finish the job going into the weekend. That’s what we wanted to see.

    BTW – is anyone else seeing a lot of “Error 500” returns on this site? I had a bunch of them when trying to post a comment after the win and then checking in one last time.

    • RedsFan11

      Yes I think it has to do with too much traffic to the site

    • Matt WI

      Same. Working smoothly this morning. But yeah, just too much traffic sometimes maybe.

    • jim walker

      For anyone who does not follow Doug on Twitter, he is very aware of the site issues and has been working them hard with the site hosting company for some time.

      It presents like a traffic issue but doesn’t seem to really be that so……

  7. TR

    Kudos to Mahle for coming back strong after giving up two homeruns in the all-important first inning.

  8. Hotto4Votto

    It’s good to see them string a few wins together. Hope to see more of that. Nice to see Suarez getting into a groove. Nice to see Mahle keep at it. Great to see young guys like Garcia get a chance. Let’s get Tyler up here soon.

  9. Klugo

    I had my post game comment all figured out: “Finally fired on all cylinders”. Then BobSteve happened.
    Oh well. Good win. Cubs rarely go quietly. I believe in BobSteve. And I think Garcia is fitting right in- in a good way.

  10. ClevelandRedsFan

    Hits the last 3 games: 12, 9, 11. This feels like the team we were promised at the beginning of the year.

    Cubs looked like the HR-dependent, sloppy team tonight when the Reds strung hits together, made solid contact, and yes got lucky with the bloop from Suarez.

  11. Matt WI

    Worst part about Bob Steve’s melt down was that Iglesias had to go 2 days in a row heading into a double header. Hope Bauer goes for the whole 7 innings and see how the nightcap plays out.

  12. CP

    I think Senzel, when he gets back, or Jose Garcia should be given a long look at leadoff. Both are extremely athletic with good/great speed. Both potentially have a great combo of power/speed from that spot as well.

    Jose Garcia- SS
    Nick Castellanos- LF
    Jesse Winker- DH
    Eugenio Suarez- 3B
    Mike Moustakas- 2B
    Nick Senzel- CF
    Joey Votto- 1B
    Shogo/Aquino*- LF
    Tyler Stephenson**- C

    It’s time to adjust our expectations for Votto, in addition to his spot in the line-up. Bell has shown by benching Votto the last three games he is willing to put the team before Votto’s pride. He needs to do it again and put Votto lower in the line-up.

    *Also, they should give Aquino another look I think. Shogo has not impressed me and hasn’t proven enough value to get significant playing time.

    **Next they should continue the youth movement they started with Garcia and call up T. Stephenson again. The catcher spot is not giving us enough offense. It’s a defense first spot yes, but we are trying to push for the playoff’s.

    Time to keep drawing a line in the sand with these guys and make sure they know if you don’t perform you don’t play. Like Votto said its a performance industry. It’s time to step up or you will lose your job to someone waiting in the wings ready to give it a go.

  13. Steven Ross

    6 & 0 without Votto. I won’t give up on Shogo leading off…yet. I don’t think Aquino is in their plans going forward. Trade material? Got down early by 2 yet didn’t pack it in. Wouldn’t have seen that a week ago. Did not know Miley had a shoulder problem which is why is he was taken out after four vs Brewers. A thousand pardons to Bell.

    • Jack

      Not sure what Votto’s presence or absence has to do with the win, his replacement has done nothing since he left the lineup. The formula is simple, enough players hit and you win. Nick, Jesse and Eugenio are hot so they are winning, need more players to join the parade. Now in the first game today they face Darvish who is lights out this year, so if Votto is in the lineup and they don’t hit will he be blamed for that?

  14. Old-school

    Not sure who his replacement was? Moose would be at 2b if Votto were at first , then would it be Galvis who otherwise would have sat? Would Galvis had been at shortstop and Farmer benched had Votto played in game 2 of the double header? He got 2 hits. Moose went 3-7 in the double header, Galvis hit a home run and other hits the last few days. The DH makes it hard to figure out who would have been sitting if Votto were there- Davidson at DH against a righty probably a replacement. He got a big hit.
    Does it matter?
    Votto is in a tailspin and the Reds need him to hit to win and he hasn’t done it.

    Safe to say his replacement at lead off was Shogo who was 0-12. Votto 0-18 so the Reds lead off hitters are 0-30 last 5-6 games. The lesson here is neither should be hitting lead off.

    Hope Senzel gets healthy and comes back soon to hit lead-off.
    Hope Votto steps back in and gives some quality at bats- but at the 6 hole.