Saturday wasn’t always fun for the Cincinnati Reds (15-18), but a walk-off win in the bottom of the 7th inning of game two led to a split against the Chicago Cubs (19-14) on the day and earned them at least a split of the weekend series.

Game 1 Recap: Dingers and Pitching – the Reds win

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (19-13) 3 4 2
Cincinnati Reds (14-18) 0 7 0
W: Darvish (6-1) L: Bauer (3-2) SV: Jeffress (4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cubs scored. The Reds didn’t. There was some bad baserunning, some bad luck on the bases, and a lot of good pitching by Chicago as they took the first game of the double header on Saturday.

The Offense

There wasn’t a whole lot of it. Joey Votto was back in the starting lineup and he was hitting leadoff. He got the job done, too, going 2-4 with a double. Mike Moustakas also had two hits, going 2-2 with a walk. The Reds offense just couldn’t put together enough hits to make things happen. Whenever they threatened, things simply couldn’t come together against Yu Darvish, who dominated once again.

The Pitching

Trevor Bauer was solid, but unspectacular on the day. He allowed two home runs, and three runs total in 5.1 innings pitched. Unfortunately the offense never got going and he was pitching from behind from the second inning on, and left the game trailing 3-0. José De León came out of the bullpen to pitch the final 1.2 innings and he did so in perfect fashion, striking out three Cubs along the way.

Game 2 Recap: The offense, pitching keep rolling

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (19-14)
5 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (15-18)
6 7 1
W: Kuhnel (1-0) L: Kimbrel (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After opening up a big lead early, the Cubs clawed back to eventually tie things up late. Cincinnati got some help from Craig Kimbrel in the 7th inning, and took full advantage of his struggles to walk off the game with Nick Castellanos scoring the winning run on a pitch that got away from catcher Willson Contreras.

The Offense

Joey Votto wasted no time tying the game up after the Cubs led off the game with a home run, the Reds first baseman hit one of his own. Two innings later the Reds played long ball again. First it was Curt Casali with a solo shot, but then Jesse Winker followed up a Nick Castellanos single to make it a 4-1 game.

After the Cubs got back into the game with a 2-run top of the 4th, the Reds started to get something going in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single by Jose Garcia. Then things got a little out of hand after a high and tight pitch came to Shogo Akiyama, which got the Reds chirping, after both teams had already been warned after a pitcher earlier in the game when Tejay Antone had one near Anthony Rizzo’s head. The benches ultimately emptied onto the field, leading to ejections of manager David Bell, Joey Votto, and Jesse Winker. Akiyama would walk after the large meeting on the field was over, but Cincinnati’s offense couldn’t come through to play add on.

In the 5th inning Aristides Aquino would draw a walk, but was stranded. The next inning saw Mike Moustakas single to lead off the inning, but he was erased on a force out, and the Reds couldn’t get anything else going. The bottom of the 7th inning began with Curt Casali walking, and Freddy Galvis came on to pinch run for the catcher. Mark Payton, who took over for Joey Votto as the DH when he was ejected, struck out for the first out of the inning. With Nick Castellanos at the plate, Craig Kimbrel threw a pitch about four feet wide of the plate for a wild pitch that moved Galvis into scoring position. The next pitch was ball four to Castellanos to put the winning run on first.

That brought The Punisher to the plate, and Aristides Aquino came through with a line drive single into shallow center field that brought in Galvis to tie the game up and move Castellanos up to second base. The first pitch to Eugenio Suárez got by catcher Willson Contreras to move the winning run to third base with one out. After the next pitch was also out of the strikezone, the Cubs chose to intentionally walk Suárez to load the bases and set up a double play and bring Mike Moustakas to the plate, but he struck out. That brought up Jose Garcia with two outs with the game potentially on the line. On the first pitch Garcia swung through strike one, but the ball got away from the catcher and Nick Castellanos raced home to score the winning run.

The Pitching

Tejay Antone got the second start of his career, and it didn’t start out as he hoped. Ian Happ hit about the shortest possible home run one could hit, but the ball landed just on top of the wall in front of the foul pole. He settled in after that for the next three innings, but the Cubs got back to hitting homers in the 4th when David Bote crushed a 2-run shot to make it a 4-3 game with the Reds still holding onto the lead.

Michael Lorenzen entered the game to start the 5th, holding onto a 4-3 lead. Nico Hoerner hit the ball to right field to lead off the inning, but Nick Castellanos couldn’t come up with it – being charged with an error and placing Hoerner at second base. After striking out Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ doubled down the line to tie the game up. Lorenzen struck out Kyle Schwarber and then the Reds intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to set up a match up with Willson Contreras. The move worked as he grounded out to Jose Garcia to end the threat.

When the 6th inning began the game was turned over to Tyler Thornburg. It didn’t go well. Jason Heyward singled to lead off the inning. Thornburg then walked both David Bote and Jason Kipnis to load the bases before being removed from the game in favor of Nate Jones. A sacrifice fly followed to put the Cubs up 5-4. Jones struck out Alfredo Almora Jr. for the second out of the inning. But a walk followed to load the bases once again, bringing Kyle Schwarber to the plate. Jones got him to hit one into the shift and end the inning, but not before the Cubs grabbed the lead. Joel Kuhnel pitched the 7th inning, and had to work around two singles, but kept the score at 5-4 to give the Reds offense a chance to tie it up or walk it off.

Notes worth noting

Reds call up Joel Kuhnel

Between games one and two the Reds placed Jesse Biddle on the 10-day injured list and recalled right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel from the alternate roster at Prasco Park.

Joey Votto keep climbing the home run list

The home run hit by Joey Votto to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning of game two was his 288th of his career. That put him ahead of Tony Perez and into the 3rd spot on the all-time Reds home run list. He now only trails Frank Robinson (324) and Johnny Bench (389).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday August 30th, 1:10pm ET

Tyler Chatwood (2-2, 6.06 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (0-4, 3.62 ERA)

54 Responses

  1. vared

    Stating the obvious, but AA just now getting a chance while SO many guys have struggled – well it just seems like another reason to question the competence of the front office.

    • Melvin

      I’ve written a lot about how Aquino should be up. At least he’s here now. Let’s hope he stays. 🙂

      • Jimbo44cn

        I have been saying it all along. Why was he kept down there so long!

      • greenmtred

        Aquino has had one great month, followed by a horrendous month, and has never–one month aside–looked like a major prospect. The Reds had a glut of outfielders. This is probably why he wasn’t called up. I hope he has a great career.

    • Jack

      They had a glut of bad outfielders. Yeah, Aquino is likely to hit .220 but at least he will do it will major power. His horrendous month still featured 5 HR and 14 RBI which is more than all the extra outfielders on the Reds combined this year

      • greenmtred

        Winker, Senzel and Castellanos? I’m glad they’re giving him another chance, and hope he turns into a great Red, but his history and his September made it seem likely that pitchers figured him out. He certainly has raw power, no question.

      • Jack

        Senzel is not on the team and I noted he was better than the extra outfielders not the starters. I see a role for him.

  2. Indy Red Man

    I told you naysayers to give Joey some time! He’s always a slow starter! Lol….he looked good! I give Bell some credit! That was a big win…especially if they can get it done tomorrow!

    Go Reds!!

    • Don

      Bell needs to bench Suarez for a few games, maybe that will get him out of his slump.

      Great come from behind win (gifted from Kimbrel) after Bell’s antics cost his team all of its momentum

      Hoping for a Castillo gem on Sunday and the offense to give him more than 2 runs of support

      • Doug Gray

        Suarez was hitting .324/.390/.757 in the 10 games prior to today.

      • Indy Red Man

        No, I’d say Castellanos 2 base error cost them the momentum…and the lead

      • Roger Garrett

        A game or two maybe but I would prefer they just move him down.After today he is at 179/298/691 and is striking out at a 32% clip and just hasn’t earned a spot in the top of the order.Doug gave his last 10 games numbers prior to tonight but an 0-7 with 6 K’s I am sure brought the numbers way down.His strikeouts are more concerning to me.

      • Jrad4reds

        He looked lost at the plate today that’s for sure.

      • Earmbrister

        Go back and watch the video of the Shogo incident. Bell was out there only 30 seconds or so before Rizzo started barking. If Bell hadn’t come out there’d be those that would complain that he’s too passive and that he doesn’t have his players’ backs. Heck, Sparky or Lou Pinella would’ve been out there for a good 5 minutes. There were no antics.

      • Steven Ross

        Bell was out there longer than 30 seconds. Come on. I don’t blame Rizzo. Sometimes Bell just goes on and on incessantly. You made your point, let’s go.

    • slicc50

      If Joey goes up there and just swings the bat, the guy can still hit. I honestly believe he gets himself into trouble sometimes looking for the walk. Nice to see him hit a couple of balls hard tonight.

  3. Jack

    What a difference a split makes. Should have lost that second one but other teams aren’t perfect either. Win tomorrow and they’ll really feel confident.

  4. Klugo

    Me, after the first inning of Game 2: We’re gonna score 10 runs. We’ll win 10-6.
    David Bell and the Reds: Hold my beer. Watch this.
    The Reds were honed in on Mills. Only David Bell could get in the way.

  5. CP

    Agreed. I would lean to Aquino over Shogo right now. Get’s more complicated once Senzel comes back, but that’s a good problem to have.

    • Melvin

      Don’t forget about the DH. Until Senzel gets back Winker at DH, Aquino in LF, Aki in CF, Casty in RF.

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        Right, and after Senzel is back (and Payton out) he should take over CF, leaving Castellanos in RF and Aquino/Winker sharing LF/DH duties. Unfortunately, Akiyama’s numbers are way below expectations with a 186/271/233 batting line, tough decision foreseen in the horizon.

  6. RedNat

    I hope Aquino gets more playing time. I trust him in the outfield and on the bases. Plus he seems to have a knack for getting big hits. I just love players that can contribute in different ways!

  7. Sean D

    I could be wrong but vottos stance seemed slightly different. His hands were higher up but still a little crouched. So of an in between old votto and more recent votto stances.

    • Aaron B.

      Joey is probably at this stage in his career more cerebral than he should be, as his bat speed is on decline and thinking too much is slowing him down further. I honestly believe when he was asked to lead-off he changed his approach to a get on base approach where he wanted to take close pitches and work the count. But with DH and this offense struggling it resulted in him taking on that fat change up on 2-0 with bases loaded a few games ago… I think at this stage in his career he is going to get challenged, he isn’t the weapon he used to be and a guy would rather give him a cookie than walk him and Joey needs to go up their looking to drive something if he can. Go defensive with two strikes sure, why not, but otherwise look for something to drive and pull the trigger.

      • Slicc50

        I could not agree more. Add on the fact that the strike zone seems to be so in-consistent from game to game. You have to be up there ready to swing the bat

      • Hotto4Votto

        Good stuff, I agree. I think a few more off days would do him some good too at his age. Every little nick and ding just takes a little longer recovery time, plus regular rest could just keep him a little fresher.

    • Klugo

      Yeah had the lean-back going on. And no choke up.

    • VaRedsFan

      Definitely had his weight back more, instead of his balanced deep crouch.

  8. Hal

    Boy today would be a good day for Castillo to reclaim “stud” status.

    • magi210

      Yes, getting 3 of 4 from the Cubs would be nice.

  9. centerfield

    I have to believe that both Bell and Ross will receive some kind of suspension from MLB. The mess on the field was ultimately their responsibility. I get that they were standing up for their players, but if anyone on either team tests positive, both teams could be done for the season. The umpiring crew also failed to control the game. This crew deserves a suspension as well. If you issue a warning, you have to back it up.

    • Grand Salami

      Ross said that Antone’s pitch was absolutely intentional. That’s an absurd take. He’s turning his team into the WLB JRs.

      • TR

        Oh come on. Ross, as a longtime catcher, knows that pitches can occasionally get away.

  10. TR

    With his open stance, Aristides does not seem to swing hard at every pitch. This gives him the chance, depending on the pitch, to hit the ball to all fields. Few players, such as Willie Mays, come to ML ball without a few periods of adjustment. I hope the Reds give Aquino a real chance.

  11. Hotto4Votto

    Is there a new rule about coming onto the field being an automatic ejection? If so, then why wasn’t everyone who left the bench ejected? If not, I don’t get why Votto and Winker were ejected. They didn’t do anything aggressive that I could see that would warrant an ejection under any bench clearing circumstances I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t get why Rizzo wasn’t ejected since his yelling at Bell escalated the situation to where Votto and Winker came out of the dugout, leading to both benches clearing. Sounds like the benches were chirping the whole game and the umpires didn’t really have a good handle on the game, then got ejection happy.

    • VaRedsFan

      That one ump was passing out ejections like Oprah

      • Grand Salami

        His arm was starting to get tired.

      • Mark Moore


        “You get a shower, and you get a shower, and you get a shower, and …”

      • Hotto4Votto

        That is funny. I did certainly appear like the ump was enjoying himself and his theatrics.

  12. zigbee

    When was Aquino added? I never saw one thing by Mark Sheldon on his addition to the club. Was he added when Ervin was released? Also, it’s been 10 days since Senzel was placed on IL. He should be activated soon as I’m sure he’s tested negative twice.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’m not entirely sure as it has been difficult to keep up with all the transactions lately. I think he was called up as the “extra” guy for the doubleheader. The transactions page on the Reds site notes that he was optioned back today (8/30). So that’s my best guess.

    • Matt WI

      I admit I was surprised he was there too. Extra man for the double header? I was listening to the middle of the game and there he was. But, he played well.

  13. Jimbo44 CN

    A couple of things. First off you could tell Joey’s stance changed in the first inning, more upright and attacking instead of crouching. Much rather see him hit the ball hard or even strike out instead of those weakly hit balls from the crouch.
    Aquino should have been up long ago. He is a good defensive outfielder, fast for his size and based on last years performance alone should be given the chance. Why they waited so long while testing all these other guys with BAs below 200 is amazing to me.

  14. docproc

    BTW, Aquino made a really nice defensive play in LF in the top of the 7th. Long run, outstretched grab to get a ball headed for the corner. He has good wheels, good length, good instincts, and a good arm.

    I’m glad to have him up here for both his offense and defense. Needs to get some PT.

  15. centerfield

    So is AA up or has he been sent back to Mason? I like his enthusiasm.

  16. centerfield

    why are the Reds always the last to post the day’s lineup?

    • Doug Gray

      As someone who does a lot of the game threads I’ll just chime in and say that they are almost always out ahead of the opponent. Usually by HOURS. They are slow today, though.

      • Redsfan4life

        Doug, you are 100% correct the Reds most days are always one of the first mlb lineup to be released.
        As a long time fantasy player I check every lineup everyday. This goes back to the days of Dusty they are almost always first out.
        I agree with your comment yesterday about fantasy sports being gambling. It is in most cases.
        My leagues are 26 years running. We have N.l. only and A.L. only 40 man roster leagues. But we have always played for fun. Never for money.Winners get there name on trophys each year and bragging rights for a year.

  17. MBS

    Aquino still isn’t getting a fair shot in 2020, he was only up as the 29th man in a doubleheader. He wouldn’t have gotten in if the Reds didn’t have 2 ejections. He’s already back at Prasco. He has as many hits in 9 AB’s as Ervin had in 35!

    But by all means, lets keep rolling out the same guys, and cross our fingers. Let’s not do something stupid like give AA a few starts, while our starting CF is injured, we need those AB’s for Payton.

    LF Aquino, CF Shogo, RF Castellanos, DH Winker. Run that for a few games for crying out loud

  18. John C.

    AA was up as the extra guy. He is back down today unless they drop someone else. Hopefully that hit changed some minds.

  19. zigbee

    So, the Reds have a guy who hit 19 HRs last year, has hit in limited time this year, but they don’t need him? Incredible. The moves by the front office is hard to grasp at best. I really doubt they make any moves either.

    • Jimbo44 CN

      Exactly, sending him back down makes no sense whatsoever. Almost as if there is something else going on. just my two cents.