The Cincinnati Reds offense had several opportunities to put runs on the board after the 1st inning but they couldn’t come through with a big hit when they truly needed one as they fell to the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday evening.
|Chicago Cubs (12-15)||3||9||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (12-14)||2||6||0|
|W: Brothers (1-0) L: Castillo (1-3) SV: Kimbrel (5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds got on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning with a little help from Chicago’s defense. Tyler Naquin doubled to lead things off and Nick Castellanos beat out an infield single, but the throw got by Anthony Rizzo at first and Naquin scored while Castellanos moved up. He’d later score on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Reds loaded the bases without a hit – Tyler Naquin was hit by a pitch and two guys walked but Eugenio Suárez struck out to end the inning and the threat. The next inning Cincinnati got things going again, this time with back-to-back 1-out singles by Tyler Stephenson and Kyle Farmer. Luis Castillo bunted, but Stephenson was thrown out at third for the force out. Tyler Naquin walked to load the bases, but Nick Castellanos grounded out to strand everyone.
Tyler Stephenson wasn’t willing to go quietly in the bottom of the 9th and laced a single on the first pitch he saw from Craig Kimbrel. He was pinch run for by pitcher Jeff Hoffman. Tucker Barnhart came off of the bench to hit for Kyle Farmer and he followed with a single of his own as Jeff Hoffman advanced to third base. Alex Blandino then came off of the bench to pinch hit for Ryan Hendrix. Blandino saw six pitches and didn’t swing at any of them, striking out looking for the first out of the 9th. Tyler Naquin, who had reached base three times in the game, came to the plate looking to at least tie the game up. Like Blandino, he worked a full count against Kimbrel and just like Blandino he looked at strike three. That brought Nick Castellanos to the plate, and after seeing the previous two hitters take strike three, he swung at the first pitch and grounded out weakly to second base to end the game.
Luis Castillo was cruising along until the 3rd inning when Nico Hoerner doubled and moved up a base on a single. That’s when pitcher Zach Davis executed a safety squeeze to perfection to get Chicago on the board. The next inning David Bote doubled and scored on a Jason Heyward single. Heyward would later end the inning by being thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single. In the 5th Castillo got some defensive help as Nick Castellanos threw out Eric Sogard trying to go 1st to 3rd on a single and made it through the inning clean.
Things didn’t go well in the 6th for Castillo as he allowed a leadoff single and a walk before getting a fly out. That’s when the bullpen was called and Sean Doolittle. After striking out Jason Heyward he gave up a 2-out single that put the Cubs ahead 3-2. Heath Hembree took over in the 7th and struck out three of the four hitters he faced. With one out in the 8th inning Amir Garrett came on and he recorded outs against both hitters he faced to keep the Reds within one – but it didn’t come without drama.
After striking out Anthony Rizzo the lefty reliever chirped something in the direction of the plate. Rizzo kept to himself and just walked to his dugout, but Javier Baéz ran onto the field and challenged Garrett to come fight him. Mike Moustakas stopped Baéz before he could reach the infield, and several players grabbed Garrett and nothing got too physical at all.
Ryan Hendrix entered the game in the top of the 9th. After a ground out to start the inning he walked Nico Hoerner. Hendrix rebounded with a strikeout of Tony Wolters and Matt Duffy to give the offense a chance to tie things up or walk it off.
Key Moment of the Game
In the bottom of the 9th inning the Reds had runners on the corners with no outs in a 1-run game but they couldn’t get a hit to tie things up.
Notes Worth Noting
In the top of the 8th inning Amir Garrett struck out Anthony Rizzo and started chirping – seemingly in the direction of catcher Tyler Stephenson. Rizzo walked away without saying anything or even reacting. But Javier Baéz hopped the railing of the dugout and the benches cleared, with Mike Moustakas holding the Cubs infielder back before he actually reached the foul line. We’ll see if anything comes of this incident, which is much like the one with St. Louis where there was just some yelling in a bench clearing incident.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Sunday May 2nd, 1:10pm ET
Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.44 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (1-1, 1.75 ERA)