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.

Final R H E
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 Offense

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.

The Pitching

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)

53 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Hard to take that loss. Didn’t do the “little things” it took to win at the end. “Little things” never stop being “big things” if you want to win consistently. That’s the difference between winners and losers. The Reds have to WANT to win more. Nothing against those guys personally. It’s a team atmosphere thing and philosophy about how to get it done. Have to be thinking about it all the time. Have to throw this three outcome crap in the toilet…and flush.

    • RojoBenjy

      I hear you. Another way to look at it is that it seems that too few guys HATE losing enough to fight for those kind of wins.

    • greenmtred

      They’ve had something like six come from behind wins in this young season, seemingly contradicting the narrative that they don’t hate losing enough. Emotion plays a part in the game, no question, but skill does as well. A team can care deeply about winning and get outplayed.

      • RojoBenjy

        I think that is a fair comment. But in yesterday’s game did they really get outplayed? Because especially in the ninth inning it seemed like it was theirs to lose

      • RojoBenjy

        It’s 12-12 in Sunday’s Cubs game

        The team that hates losing the most will win it

  2. west larry

    Is India hurt. or is he in Bell’s doghouse? I haven’t seen him play in a game for what seems like a weel.

      • Grand Salami

        2nd – Geno is back in the lineup and back in a 5. Bell is supposed to he managing to win. That Suarez has continued to K at a 40% clip while batting 4 or 5 is lineup malfeasance

  3. TR

    The Reds gave this game away. 9th. inning, no outs, runners on first and third. A fly ball would have probably tied the game. Taking third strikes is such a letdown. It’s like the lotto, unless you’re in it, you’re not going to win it.

  4. Jon

    That ending was terrible. A runner on third with nobody out and the Reds can’t get him home to tie the game. Ugly…

    With Suarez not hitting all season, Moustakas not hitting since he returned from the IL, and Winker sitting out injured, the Reds lineup looks weak. Something needs to change soon… India, Akiyama, and Senzel are not power hitters. Neither really are the catchers. For a team playing half its games in Great American Small Park, the roster could use some more bats that hit long balls. Castellanos can’t do it all, even if Moustakas and Suarez start hitting.

  5. Old-school

    Winning teams don’t lose the Mahle start up 3-0 with Antone cruising after 8. Winning teams dont lose to last place place teams who throw the ball across the diamond in the first inning to give you a 2-0 lead with your Ace on the mound who pitched well only to not score for the rest of the game

    David Bell had a good team in 2020 and finished .500 he has more talent in 2020/2021 than Bryan Price ever had. If you take away Bells 2019 suspended games when his bench coach won..He’s about 20 under .500.

    Winning matters and the talent is there.

    Suarez should not the reat of the home stand. Bell benched India because young players need to work off the field sometimes…. . Paraphrasing

    How do you say that with a straight face while losing with Suarez?

    This reds offense for 2019/20/21 are boom or bust . They are the gold rush 49’ers. Im tired of watching boom or bust hitters . Play the best 8 hitters who give you competitive at bats always.

    • TR

      The situation with Suarez can not continue if the Reds are going to be competitive this year. Sit him down for a spell, and have him work with the hitting coach dept. and make adjustments. Moustakas to third and Senzel to second for now.

  6. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Suarez is becoming unwatchable at the plate. He makes no adjustments. About ten days ago I saw him going with the pitch and hitting some tough line outs to right and right center field. It seems this approach was short-lived and he’s back to his fly swatting at the plate.

    This team’s inability to manufacture runs has been a systemic problem for this organization. I don’t know you fix this.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Suarez uses a big bat and has developed a long loopy swing with an uppercut. When he hit that homer the other day, that was a fine example of running into one. The ball just happened to be in just the right place.
      He looks terrible at the plate now, like a man getting ready to chop down a tree, not hit a baseball. And I like the guy.!

  7. Indy Red Man

    Play Stephenson more and move him up in the lineup. Tucker is hitting for now, but we all know that .260 with 10-12 HR power is his ceiling. Move Suarez to 7th until he looks better and give him some breathers too. Its obviously in his head now. He takes the 1st one right down the middle and usually Ks on garbage. Tough at-bat for Naquin in the 9th too, but Kimbrel made some nasty pitches. Far different then Blandino on his sightseeing trip.

    6-2 at home vs the NL Central. Mahle vs a C- pitcher in Trevor Williams. Thats a big one tomorrow and they need to quit losing before off days. I’m almost assuming a loss tomorrow and Wednesday.

    • RojoBenjy

      The losing before off days has much to do with lineup construction

  8. Dennis Westrick

    I watched the replays of the two (2) called third strikes in the bottom of the ninth. Both pitches were close and looked like they were out of the “normal”, innings one (1) thru eight (8) strike zone! Based on the strike zone when Sims was pitching last night both pitches would have definitely been called balls. Never thought I would say this but time to do away with home plate umpires and somehow automate the process

  9. Tampa Red

    Amir Garrett is a fool, his mouth and his antics are just ridiculous. Hopefully someone steps in and gets him under control.

    • Optimist

      May be true, and didn’t watch the game or see the replays yet, but if Baez came out of the dugout is that violating the COVID rules? The same one that got Nick C suspended?

      Seriously, is MLB headed toward rules akin to NHL – no 3rd man in, or NBA, cannot leave the bench?

      I doubt it, and it’s not unique to the Reds this year, but the intensity seems a bit ramped up, and in some unusual circumstances.

      • Rex

        while they have lots of history, Baez acting stupid doesn’t excuse AG’s foolish antics

        he would likely be a good pitcher if if focused on baseball a bit more and a bit less on being a bat flipping, showboating, sun of a gun

    • TR

      Garrett is a talented leftie which is not easy to find, but he is too easily distracted by other things than getting the hitter out.

  10. LDS

    Looking back on the Reds year after year, they haven’t had a winning record in day games since 2014. This year is no different. Why? No idea. We’ll see if tomorrow is any different.

  11. Old-school

    David Ross- an ex Red-used the term garbage to refer to the Cincinnati Reds today.

    • Grand Salami

      In what context??? Re: Amir’s behavior?

      • Old-school

        “Thats his style. I don’t agree with it. I think its garbage.”

      • RojoBenjy

        Dear David Ross,

        While I don’t disagree with you, you know what else is garbage?

        1) players that jump over the dugout rail shaking their fists and giving the finger, but that are sure to find a player to get behind so they don’t really have to throw hands

        2) a hitting philosophy of certain left handed batters where they hang over the inside half of the plate.

        3) certain very tall third basemen who take curtain calls while on the road in another team’s park

    • Tom Diesman

      Ross was absolutely right too. Bell might not care what Ross thinks but might want to consider what Reds fans think and have a talk with his team about what class and professionalism is before the Reds begin losing fans.

  12. Klugo

    I love Geno just as much as I love the Todd Father, but man, it seems like history repeating itself. Waited too long to trade both of those 3Bs. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

    • RojoBenjy

      The prime time to trade him would have been to make room for Senzel to take over 3rd. That would have been risky, but that’s what teams like St Louis do

      • TR

        The Cards make unexpected moves. One of the reasons they’re usually competitive.

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    At the current rate, Suarez will easily surpass the 200 K’s mark and may actually reach the 250 figure, putting him in company of other famous related Reds like Adam Dunn and Drew Stubbs.

    • RojoBenjy

      If only he was a player like Dunn we could put up with it

    • Grand Salami

      Yes, Dunn consistently walked 100x per season and had power that was just as consistent, if not more so. Stubbs was a different story and Geno doesn’t want to be lumped with him.

      Geno at 5 again and ahead of Senzel in the R/L alternating game that Bell plays in his lineup cards.

      Geno and his 40% K rate have consistently been 4/5 all season and that is a travesty.

  14. MBS

    I don’t get how everyone was pumped with the Castellanos flex, but outraged over Garrett’s jawing. I think some must have forgotten who Rizzo is. Way worse beef with the Cubs than the Cards. Before that game against the Cards this year, there wasn’t any issues for years, but last year there were with the Cubs.

    • Rednat

      The Injuries are taking a major toll right now. Winker shogo, India, Moose. Even having Lorenzen pinch running in the 9th would have been nice. Not sure he would have scored from first on Tuckers hit but he would have least drawn a throw to the plate. The fact that we had to use Blandino to pinch hit and a pitcher to pinch run in the
      9th shows how depleted we are

    • RojoBenjy

      My impression is that folks are outraged about AG chirping bit because it was at Anthony Rizzo (a “tool-sy”) player, but rather that AG has been all kinds of suck so far this season and had no right to open that yapper.

    • Tampa Red

      Context. Nick made a great hustle play to score a go ahead run on a head first slide into home plate. AG started running his mouth on a random, bases empty, one out K.

      If we’re going to have to get used to wild chest pounding trash talking after every K cause “let the kids play” then they’re going to lose a lot of viewers.

      • Jimbo44CN

        True, no need for him to go nuts over one strikeout, Just shut up and pitch

      • MBS

        I don’t think Rizzo is a random out. I think from watching Garrett and Rizzo, that Garrett looks at him, like Reds fans looks at Molina.

        I agree that it’s not normal to celebrate when your playing poorly. To be frank I thought Castellanos went overboard too. Having said that, it didn’t get me upset, I believe in “Let the kids play”. It’s not my style, but if it helps get Garrett back in the right state of mind, I’d say Jaw away AG.

    • Yerisdad

      Are you implying this is racial? Just to clarify…

      • Yerisdad

        The game is definitely changing. Players are increasingly mocking others, bat flips on many homers, chest-pumping and pointing at your dugout, etc. It seems the “unwritten rules” of baseball have clearly changed. On the telecast they were talking about how weird it was for Amir to walk up to and stand in front of Rizzo before the ab. Times are a changing!

  15. Roger Garrett

    When we need to just put a ball in play we more often then not can’t do it.Their pen was dominating but we finally got to see a guy in Kimbrell that wasn’t and we had our chance but failed.Situational hitting is something we just have struggled at and I wonder if the team or the players even talk about it or think about it.In the game yesterday you have to first tie it and Kimbrell is nasty but whats going on.We normally just hack and hack and hack but we get called out twice and Blandino doesn’t even swing is just hard to believe.Maybe its either homer or walk and if we strike out thats ok philosophy but an out on a grounder or flyball is useful at times.

    • RojoBenjy

      How about a sac bunt in that situation? If well-executed it ties the game, “giving the other team an out” notwithstanding. Better than losing outright by watching 6 go by

      • Old Big Ed

        I thought about that, too, but the third baseman was playing in, and the runner on third was a pitcher, so that would have been iffy. Plus, none of these guys can bunt anymore. They have time to tweet but not to practice bunting.

      • RojoBenjy

        “They have time to tweet but not to practice bunting.”

        I’m with you–and they have time to play video games (says frustrated father of teen)

  16. docproc

    Blandino would rather watch than swing. He would rather walk than hit. He is about the last guy I wanted up in that situation.

    • Old Big Ed

      Yeah, I agree. Blandino is the absolute king of called third strikes. Yesterday, though, it was the called second strike that let me know they were doomed. It was about 4 inches above the knee in the geometric center of the plate. If Blandino could have put a ball on a tee, he would have put it right where Kimbrel threw it. But he couldn’t bring himself to swing at it.

      That habit is going to cost Blandino a lot of money, because he’s on the road to DFA with that level of aggression/confidence. He simply had to put the ball into play there. Even a double play would have been fine.

      Fourteen pitchers is ridiculous.

      • Tomn

        Such a shame. I think Blandino is an ok player and he could hit if he became aggressive. A strange case. Maybe we should just bring Garcia up, option Blandino (if there are options), and sit Suarez for at least a week. Move Senzel to 2b, but Akiyama in CF and India is a utility player – IF or OF.

        Senzel to me looks like he’s starting to turn into the player we thought he was.

  17. JB

    I like Blandino but what he did yesterday is exactly why he is a AAA player. Everybody wants to send India down but he is way better than Blandino. Better in the field in my opinion and more aggressive at the plate. Let India learn here playing and coming off the bench. I dont care if Blandino plays 8 positions, we have Farmer for that role. As much as I want Blandino to succeed, it isnt in the cards. Utility player at best.

    • RojoBenjy

      At least he’s a home-grown utility player. A win for the farm