The Cincinnati Reds defense hurt them early and a bunch of walks would haunt them late as they fell to 22-28 with a loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
|Cincinnati Reds (22-28)
|Chicago Cubs (29-22)
|W: Thompson (3-1) L: Castillo (1-8)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
There wasn’t much going on for the Reds offense early. In the 4th inning a leadoff single by Eugenio Suárez was followed by a 1-out walk from Nick Castellanos to put two men on, but Tyler Naquin struck out and Tyler Stephenson lined out to center to leave both of them stranded.
In the top of the 6th inning the Reds started things with back-to-back walks to begin the inning from Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker. That brought Nick Castellanos to the plate to face a left-handed pitcher. This is the spot where Castellanos thrives. But it wasn’t to be in this situation as he struck out. With lefty Tyler Naquin due up, David Bell opted to send pinch-hitter Scott Heineman to the plate to get a better match up. He worked a 7-pitch walk to load the bases and the Cubs went to the bullpen and brought on Keegan Thompson with Tyler Stephenson coming to the plate.
The Cubs may have wanted that one back as Stephenson doubled down the right field line to plate two runs and tie the game up and put runners at 2nd and 3rd with just one out. That was all Cincinnati would get as Max Schrock popped up and Jonathan India struck out to end the inning. That was the last time the Reds would truly threaten.
Luis Castillo hasn’t pitched well this year. But the defense has done him absolutely zero favors all season long and the 2nd inning was no different. Willson Contreras led off with a single and was bunted over to second base. No harm, no foul. But then David Bote grounded a ball to Eugenio Suárez at shortstop, who caught Contreras between the bases and ran at him before throwing to third. Any sort of reasonable throw easily gets Contreras, but somehow Suárez lobbed the ball 10 feet over the head of Max Schrock and Contreras was safe and then Bote moved up to second. The next play was an RBI infield single to shortstop. Then Zach Davis laid down what should have been a sacrifice bunt, but Jonathan India failed to cover first base and it went down as an RBI single that made it 2-0.
Luis Castillo had some things going his way moving forward. That is until the bottom of 6th inning when he walked the first two batters of the inning and was replaced by Amir Garrett.
The Reds caught a break on the first hitter he faced as he hit him with a pitch, but Rafael Ortega was ruled to have missed a bunt – and replay seems to show that he did pull the bat backwards at the time. That was the last break they’d catch in the inning (insert foreshadowing ominous tones). Ortega followed up by bunting the ball foul with two strikes, resulting in a strikeout. Garrett got out to an 0-2 count but would walk Patrick Wisdom to load the bases. The lefty couldn’t find the strikezone once again, this time walking in the go-ahead run before he was removed in favor of Tejay Antone who had to come in with the bases still loaded and just one out. After striking out Nick Martini, Joc Pederson lopped a single just over the outstretched glove of a leaping Jonathan India and two runs scored, making it 5-2. Another run scored when Kris Bryant singled into left to give the Cubs a 4-run lead. Javier Báez struck out to end the pain and suffering in the 6th.
The pain and suffering wasn’t over yet, though. Rafael Ortega hit a solo home run – his first of the year – to make it 7-2 in the bottom of the 7th. The Cubs continued to play add on in the 8th. To quote Harry Doyle…. you know what, I probably shouldn’t. The Cubs scored more runs than the Reds did.
Notes Worth Noting
In the 8th inning Nick Castellanos doubled into left center. That extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
Nick Senzel’s knee surgery went as expected. No timeline for his return was announced, but the knee scope is generally a 4-6 week timeline.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
Sunday May 30th, 2:20pm ET
Tyler Mahle (3-2, 3.75 ERA) vs Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.37 ERA)