In a game that featured little offense it was a clutch 2-out, 2-run double in the bottom of the 6th inning by Joey Votto that was the difference. Sonny Gray’s return to the mound was followed by five relievers combining to close the game out as the Cincinnati Reds hung on to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
|Chicago Cubs (42-40)
|Cincinnati Reds (41-40)||2||4||1|
|W: Osich (1-0) L: Mills (3-2) SV: Hembree (2)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
For some reason when the Reds see Sonny Gray on the mound they leave their bats in the dugout. When Gray exited the game after five innings pitched the Cincinnati offense had just two base runners all game – a Jonathan India single and a Joey Votto hit-by-pitch. Fortunately Gray only allowed one run on the night and despite the offense being non-existent during his outing, the team was in the game.
Things got moving in the right direction during the 6th inning. Jonathan India walked with one out in the inning. After a fly out, Nick Castellanos singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd for Joey Votto. Alec Mills was removed and replaced on the mound by Adam Morgan to set up a lefty-lefty match up. Votto and the Reds came out ahead on this one as the Cincinnati first baseman doubled into the right field corner to plate both runners and put the home team up 2-1.
Sonny Gray returned from the injured list on Friday night and he looked like he hadn’t missed any time at all. He was cruising through the first three innings of the game. The Cubs did get to him in the 4th inning when Kris Bryant singled and then scored on a 2-out double by Jason Heyward. Another double in the 5th inning, this time by Willson Contreras, put Gray in another jam but he struck out Javier Baez to end the inning. It was his 8th strikeout of the day, and it would also be the last batter he faced.
Art Warren entered the game for the 6th with the Reds trailing 1-0 and looked to keep it there. He hit Anthony Rizzo, but retired the next two hitters he faced before David Bell brought in lefty Josh Osich to face Jason Heyward who grounded out to Joey Votto to end the inning.
Amir Garrett entered the game for the top of the 7th inning but after a 2-out walk to Joc Pederson, David Bell brought in Brad Brach to face Willson Contreras. It wasn’t easy – Jonathan India had a foul ball ricochet off of his glove and then a ball that Eugenio Suárez had to field in the outfield grass, but a strong and accurate throw beat Contreras to the bag by a matter of inches to end the inning. The play was so close that the Cubs asked for a review – one that they lost. Brach returned for the 8th to face the heart of the Chicago order and made quick work of them with two strikeouts and a check swing 1-3 ground out.
Heath Hembree entered from the dugout to try and lock the game up in the 9th. It took six pitches but he struck Patrick Wisdom out to begin the inning. It only took one pitch to retire Jason Heyward on a ground out to second base. But Ian Happ singled on the 8th pitch of his at-bat to put the tying run on first base. The Cubs then went to pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega with the game on the line. Hembree and the Reds won the battle as Ortega struck out swinging to end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
The Reds announced a sellout of 40,854.
Brad Brach continues to be outstanding in the bullpen. He dropped his ERA to 2.41 on the season in 18.2 innings for the Reds.
The Brewers won their 10th consecutive game as they try to run away with the division before the All-Star break arrives.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday July 3rd, 4:10pm ET
Adbert Alzolay vs Tyler Mahle (7-3, 3.74 ERA)
Nothing better than beating the Cubs!
Doug hit “publish” like a boss on this recap. Nice work!
I got real worried there for a second after Happ singled that I was going to have to start deleting some things I had already typed up in anticipation of how the game would end lol.
I’ve still got two minor league games going, but I’m trying to finish work by 1am tonight and be in bed by 2…. had to be ready and on top of things!
Doug: I really appreciate all of the good work you put in at RLN to keep us informed and talking to each other about the Reds.. Thank you.
+99999999999 to that, greenmtred
Your intro says it all, Doug – “In a game that featured little offense…” Gotta fix it before it’s too late. The Brew Crew supposedly has a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way while the Reds do not.
Seven of the next nine Brewers games are against a team that hosed them in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago.
I get that, Doc. However, I recently read a report that compared schedules for the remainder of the year and provided probabilities for winning the division. The Brewers were clear-cut faves in ours. We’ll very likely need improvements via trades to keep pace or move ahead of them.
Fun fact: the pitcher who made the smallest contribution to this victory got credit for the win. What a great stat that is.
They should have an RPRT stat… right place, right time
I have been saying for a while they need to redefine what a Win by a starting pitcher constitutes. I feel like if your SP goes at least 5 and you overall team wins the game he should get the win. Hold and Saves were created to give relievers credit for success. Maybe it needs to be something more than just pitching 5 innings. Anyone have any ideas.
Votto has consistently hit the ball hard all season although his stats may not reflect that..
Votto is having a nice season. I have no complaints against him this season. I love his new drive and attitude too.
Agree. Votto has embraced the injection of youth on this team. Good to see.
As I said recently what I’m seeing out of Votto the last few games I haven’t seen in years. Lefties or not he may still have some special things in him. Let’s hope so.
After that clutch double last night all the Votto haters have been put on suicide watch.
Good thing Bell went with some guy named Votto who got the winning hit off a lefty.
BC didn’t need to spend any more money for BP help tonight.
DB has the Reds above .500 at the halfway point and should get projected opening day starters back in the next couple of weeks.
I’ll look forward to all the mea culpas on RLN at season’s end!
Don’t hold your breath it will be they won in spite of DB
At some point, we do need to credit David Bell’s steady leadership. With as bad as the bullpen was the first half and the early struggles of the starting pitching, it’s amazing this team is over .500 and playing with the kind of energy.
It looks like the pitching issues are getting sorted.
But the energy and hustle has stayed high and this team really seems to be playing as a team.
That’s a product of everyone involved but especially a reflection of David Bell’s leadership.
any manager looks bad when his bullpen sux. Garrett was awful and Lorenzen was hurt to begin the yr., etc, etc. –The players are competing and he isn’t screwing things up –he finally found a decent lineup with India leading off ( for now) –and can y’all chill on the Little Lopezer (Scarface reference) for MVP talk? He may be a future starter, but we do need some power playing at GABP
I believe you are right Tom. Unfortunately for Bell there are too many who like to put the blame on the guy who leads the team, Bell has led this team to over 500 at the halfway point without a SS, without a closer, with Krall finding relief pitchers from the scrapheap and with his projected CF, 2B, on the IL. Three of his starting rotation has spent time on IL and 2 best bullpen arms are on the IL and don’t forget Lorenzen has been out all season.
If/when the Reds get Sims, Antone and Lorenzen back, is it possible that the Reds will have a GOOD bullpen? Brach, Hembree and Warren all have legit big league stuff. Not to mention Hoffman and Santillan.
With the BP stabilizing, Votto heating up and Senzel and Moose still lurking around, I think all this talk of selling off assets is extremely premature. Yes they have a hole or two, but so does everyone else.
I think the best solution (in terms of money and minor league players) for solving the bullpen woes is on the IL and in the minors. I wouldn’t rule out bringing up Lodolo and Greene later on and using them in relief. Sims, Lorenzen, Antone, Santillan, Lodolo and Greene. That’s a lot of potentially solid relief.
The Reds also have holes on offense, TR. Tonight’s two runs on four hits is a clear indication. They simply aren’t hitting quality starting pitchers well. Also, Winker’s average has gone down .25 points in the last month. No surprise, really, with swings in hitting as they are, but it doesn’t help. We need improvement on offense and pitching.
I agree the Reds have holes on offense. So do the Brewers, as a team they are hitting .219 and that is not a typo. In every meaningful offensive category, the Brewers are well below the Reds.
Yes, they are hot right now, but just like Winker wasn’t going to hit .400 all season, the Brewers aren’t going to continue to run off 10-game winning streaks. No legit reason to run up the surrender flag at the halfway point in the season.
Well hate to be the party pooper, but before Milw got on this 10 game heater, then went 19-10 before that. 29 out of 39 means they’re really good. We’ll see? Maybe the Reds beat them 5-6 times out of the 7 straight vs Milw coming up? Its unlikely, but you wouldn’t think the Cubs would be 7.5 out when they were just tied last week.
Our quality pitchers are also not being hit well by our opponents. Cubs had one run on six hits, not exactly an offensive explosion. Works both ways.
Don’t most/all teams have holes on offense? Particularly if we view having a hard time with a good pitcher as evidence of that. Good pitchers often get good hitters out, and all teams have games when they only get a few hits. The Reds are terrible baserunners, aren’t (mostly) great fielders and, until recently, had a bullpen that gave games away. Those are holes, but trading a lot of talent to fix them might be premature.
P.S. The Brewers have won 10 straight, they have the Pirates for two more, then they take on the Mets for three, followed by us for eight. The time to make a move on them may soon be a ‘now or never’ scenario.
They had 5 against Pittsburgh, 7 against Colorado and 7 against Arizona this past month. They had 3 against the cubs and got swept be the Reds. Brewers have had a cakewalk in June
I agree with Tim. However, what is quite likely to come back and bite the Reds in the posterior when all is said and done is the games the Reds frittered away in Denver and Pheonix early on.
From August 1 through the end of the season, the Reds have 10 games with teams currently better than .500, 3 each with the Brewers (road) and Dodgers (home), 2 with the White Sox (road) and 1 each with the Mets and Cleveland (both road).
On the softer side, over the same period the Reds have 13 (yes) 13, with the Pirates. 7 with the Marlins and 5 combined with Twins and Tigers.
I keep saying this… If we could go out and get 1 solid reliever and the others come up from the minors eventually plus others come back from the IL and are their normal selves this bullpen could end up being pretty good. To give faith to the fans go out and get at least 1 reliever. Show some effort. A SS would be great but I doubt that will happen.
Gotta get Lopez back in there tomorrow. Give him a shot at SS. Farmer could use a day or two off.
In what sense? He’s playing great defense, he’s 3 for his last 8, had the game tying HR yesterday and one of the hardest hit balls tonight that happened to go right to the second baseman. I’m all for getting López back in the lineup, but not because Farmer needs a day or two off.
Agree, his defense is really solid and he does hit the ball hard. He is the best we have at SS today, need to keep him in there.
I agree. Farmer’s “D” has been solid plus at least he’s putting the ball in play lately. Unlike our 3B who is now in more than a slump. It’s July 3rd and he’s hitting .174! That’s a problem.
Thanks Steve, I couldn’t believe no one had ragged on Suarez yet. Of course, you failed to mention his outstanding play @ 3rd that saved the lead and his base hit later in the game.
Farmer is the worst hitter we have, as an everyday player. That sense. Suarez is not far behind, but geez take off the blinders. As good as Winker and Castellanos is, Suarez and Farmer are bad. Farmers defense is not special, Iglesias’s defense is special, Farmer is solid.
Farmer’s offense would not be a factor if there was a third baseman or first baseman consistently hitting like a first and third baseman. Leave Farmer alone until Barrera ready.
Times have changed.
In 2021 here’s what the average 1st baseman is hitting: .243/.323/.419
Here is what Joey Votto is hitting in 2021: .250/.329/.457
Joey Votto is hitting better than an average first baseman this year. (and in case anyone wants to scream GABP makes it easy – Votto’s got better numbers than the average first baseman when we add in park factors, too)
I’m not claiming Farmer is a great player. I’m saying nothing about his performance lately suggests he needs a couple days off. He’s been hitting the ball hard and playing good defense, which is the most we can possibly hope for in a team without a good shortstop. Take your own blinders off and deal with the reality of this roster.
3 for his last 8 doesn’t change the fact that he’s hitting .219. If you wanna go off that argument, Lopez is 4 for his last 5. This team isn’t winning off defense anyway and unless Miley is pitching, most of our guys are pitching for strikeouts anyway.
Farmer’s last 30 games: .247/.308/.387. He’s got 14 RBI and scored 12 runs in that span, and he’s usually hitting 8th.
It’s nothing to get excited about, and I wish the Reds had a better option, but it’s better than .219 and isn’t based on just the last couple games. The guy just had a game tying home run and has been playing very good defense. We just watched Lopez nearly lose a game by making a terrible throw from third, which is supposed to be a position he CAN play, while Farmer has been dependable on defense and made several excellent plays. When you combine Farmer’s recent hitting (which, again, is not good, but it’s better than several other major league shortstops), I don’t think it make sense to give him a couple days off NOW. When he’s actually slumping, sure, but not NOW. Third base is obviously where Lopez would offer the most potential improvement, but I’m afraid this organization is more concerned about saving face and trying to keep everyone happy than actually maximizing the chances of winning every game.
It was his first full game in the field. Suarez and Farmer make throws like that all of the time and Votto picks them 9 times out of 10. No ones talking about that if Votto picks it. I just think you need to get him in there and if Bell wants to also give Suarez some AB’s, then giving Lopez at shot at SS isn’t that terrible of a idea. Or you could let him try the outfield, either way, if you go 4 for 5, you should be in next days lineup lol.
I don’t really remember Farmer making many throws like that, to be honest. I’m sure he’s made a few, but offhand I can’t remember thinking “Votto really saved Farmer there.” I remember thinking it with Suarez, but not Farmer.
I would let Lopez start at third until there’s a good reason not to. What I wouldn’t do would be to put him at a crucial defensive position he’s essentially never played at the professional level — based solely on the fact that he’s a better hitter. I especially wouldn’t do it when the guy playing that position had a clutch 9th inning home run the day before. If Lopez costs the Reds a run every few games because he can’t make all the plays Farmer would make, that more than erases the offensive benefit. If I thought he’d have 4 hits every night, I’d agree — let’s give him a shot to play short and see what happens. But it’s more likely that he’ll hit .290 and Farmer will hit .240. It’s 5 more hits (mostly singles) every 100 ABs,
The team isn’t winning because of its defense because the defense isn’t great (though not as bad as many feared). If you polled the pitchers and they answered with candor, I bet they’d say that they’d appreciate better defense. Because, in reality, they still aren’t striking everybody out. I bet, if you checked, you’d see that they aren’t striking out half of the batters they face. Bad fielding cost them several games earlier in the season.
This isn’t beer league softball. Lopez is not going to play SS.
We need to attend to business and put Lopez at 3B. I love Suarez, but you don’t keep a hitter like Lopez on the bench unless he earns it. Suarez hasn’t earned playing time. Forget the contract he signed for. It is about putting the best team on the field. Is there anyway, we could send Suarez down to get things straightened out? If we can tread water until next season the DH will solve some of our problems.
A player that hasn’t played shortstop in two years in the minors is not starting at shortstop in the majors.
and has only played shortstop 11 times in 5 years,….just not gonna happen.
How about Suarez to SS, Lopez to 3rd base (his arm can play there, his throwing error last night notwithstanding, and India at 2b and give Farmer a rest for a night and see what happens, Suarez will be going back to SS when Moose gets back.
I think I’d rather take a chance on a good hot hitter who hasn’t played SS in two years playing there instead of Saurez. He’s pretty much shown us everything this year. He CAN BE a very good third basemen. He is a pathetic SS and just cannot handle it. The reason he was tried there again was to get more offense knowing defense would have to suffer at least a little. Well we pretty much know there’s a good chance Lopez will give us more offense. It’s just a matter of time until Barrero takes over anyway.
The bottom line is that you can’t run Suarez and Moose out there if you are trying to win the pennant. Forget the contracts. Moose’s especially was a mistake. Cut your losses and move on. It’s a business.
IF and I said IF this team gets fully healthy they are overloaded with slightly above avg talent in the field. Problem is if you’re another team who below can you pick out that’s truly worth taking in a trade?
C: Stephenson and Barnhart. Maybe a team would take Barnhart but I think you would want to keep. You aren’t trading away the future In Stephenson
Suarez: has extremely weak value, if you can get something I’d trade but Bob would have to eat most of the contract
so he won’t do it.
Lopez: Unknown commodity has no value any trade with him would be for a return of an unknown commodity
Farmer: Good utility guy but every team has their utility guy not much value
Moose: Can’t stay healthy and bad contract. Bob would have to eat again and get a flyer back at best
Votto: not going anywhere
India: Probably would get most return for him, moose can take his spot. That said he’d be the only infielder I would not want to trade haha
Shogo : Relatively cheap but not enough at bats, not sure if a team wants him and don’t think you’d get much back
Winker : nope
Castellanos : nope
Aquino : young cheap power bat, may be an opportunity here to trade for an arm
Naquin: solid season but most likely a 4th outfielder or bench guy. Teams won’t trade back much for that
Senzel: I’ve been one the biggest Senzel apologists, dude can’t stay on the field.
So who are you trading and can the Reds actually get much in return? Bobby didn’t spend the money in the off-season. No free agents to get now. Trade return looks bleak. The cheesy cheap “let’s get healthy arms back” approach may actually be the only approach
You can trade prospects too, not saying Lodolo or Greene, but if a team has a pitcher that costing them money, and their out of it, you should be able to trade mid level prospect for him.
Why not trade Winker or Castellanos? Yes they are the Reds two best offensive players currently but one won’t be here in six months and the other’s stock is higher than it ever will be.
The Reds are a 500 team that has some fun players and a decent core but they’re hardly a championship caliber team, yes even compared to the other teams with flaws. No team is ever completely healthy and the guys who are slated to return aren’t reliable as impact players anyway, and outside of the bullpen guys, they don’t really have an open position. If they can turn Cast and Winker into some long term impact players they can bolster a decent foundation. This is basically what the White Sox did. The same thought process that said “you can’t trade Winker or Castillo” is the same thinking of those who said “you can’t trade Suarez/Bruce/R Iglesias and the Reds got literally nothing for them.
Probably Senzel And Barrero
And add 3 to 4 top prospects From dealing anybody else.
if the games with Milwaukee go bad it is time to get what we can for them all-stars
Agree, why not Barrero and change to SD for CJ Abrams ? Sounds like he has the Def, hit and speed Reds need going forward. Not like Padres need another SS anytime soon
Pretty much agree. They are going to have to eat some money with Moose’s contract and Suarez’s to a lessor extent. Neither is going to be happy on the bench which is where they should be. The DH/1B position will be open for one player next season with Votto being the other. Tough decision between Moose and Suarez as to who to cut. I probably go with Moose as he costs more money and can’t stay healthy.
The Yankees desperately need a left handed power bat. Naquin would fit good there with the short right field. Problem of course is what you get back, I really don’t think the Yankees have a decent arm they are willing to trade.
Lets get to second first and then worry about 1st
Worry about ourselves.. Not the other teams.. Keep winning and then see what happens.
Clutch hit by mr prime minister! Cubs and cardinals are fading and Reds are getting stronger with reinforcements on the way.
+1 for bringing back the Prime Minister memory!
I still have my t-shirt
Hard to imagine us catching the Brewers but plenty of games to go.Their starters are really good and the back end of the pen is better.They added Adames and I expect them to to more.Still having fun with this team so let’s play on.Not a fan of using all of the pen nor setting guys that hit the previous game because of matchups in some cases while not in others.Winning makes it easier so let’s keep it up
To Mr. Gray:
Don’t you think the article’s headline should include a reference to BP?
To be fair, They were very competitive yesterday to hold and save the game.
I have the impression that Reds have improved with Brach. Good work by FO adding him up to the team.
This has been the scheduled played by Brewers in june:
1 Vs Detroit (0-1)
7 vs Arizona ( 6-1)
7 vs Colorado (5-2)
6 vs Reds (2-4)
3 vs Cubs (3-0)
3 vs Pirates (3-0)
And they are playing four games against Pirates again starting July, winning the first two … this may partially explain the Brewers’ recent success… Brewers have had a really nice schedule last month so despite i have not checked their remaining schedule i guess it should not be very easy…
Just commented above before I saw this but I think it bears repeating, from August 1 to the end of the season the Reds have 25 games versus Pirates/ Marlins/Twins/Tigers and only 10 (including 3 with Brewers) with teams currently with a better record than their own. Is it crazy to think they could go 15-10 (or maybe even a couple of games better) in these games, I don’t think so.
Meanwhile over the last 2 months, the Brewers get 7 with the Giants, and 3 each with the Dodgers/ Mets/ Cleveland.
The Brewers have 10 with the Cards from Sept 1 to the end of the season while the Reds have 10 with the Pirates in the same period. The Reds should pick up several over these pairings unless the Cards have fallen out into tank mode.
plus Jim, other than the Pirates, none of those teams have gone into full all out tank mode. By Aug/September, their roster will be gutted and AAAA players everywhere. Reds need to bury the Cards , jump the Cubs and use those 7 games against the brewers to get back within 4-5 games.
With the Dodgers situation and Giants buoyed by a home park, the Reds SP can go toe to toe with most any team. The brewers have a great bullpen to go along with great SP so that gap needs to be addressed by Krall.
I’m tired of reading about the Brewers in my Reds’ winning game recap!
Sort of kidding guys—but let’s not let the Bernies live rent free in the mind, eh?
I agree…but no choice
Because in the end all that matters is getting to first place or possibly in the process of busting for 1st slipping into the second wildcard while everyone is watching the three besties in the West taking turns beating on each other and not noticing the Reds climbing up from behind to nose by the wire.
Reading through the comments and I just don’t get why so many Reds fans want to run up the surrender flag to a team that is hitting .219 as a team, DEAD LAST not just in the national league, but ALL of baseball.
That stat is what gives me some hope. They’re living on borrowed luck—meaning they are one starting pitcher being injured away from deflating.
I agree. It’s too early to give up and, anyway, I’m having fun watching the Reds for the first time in a few years. They are showing–dare I say it?–grit and spirit and that–plus the talent in the Minors–bodes well for the future.
It was great being at the game last night with a sellout crowd. As always there were a lot of Cubs but didn’t seem as many as in years past.
I thought this team would win 76 games but I underestimated them, they are better than that.
It’s Just frustrating to think how good the team could have been if the front office had made a little effort over the off season to improve it.
I think the Reds need to worry more about center field right now then short stop, Farmer is serviceable as long as 3rd base hits and remember Barrero might be the long term answer. I just don’t trust any of our center field options. Senzel would be my top choice but he cant stay on the field.
I agree CF is a potential issue. In June Naquin’s OPS was only mid .700s and wRC+ right at 100. However, even when Senzel has been healthy, He has not performed to a level that would indicate he is a sure fire upgrade over anyone else they have been sending out to CF.
I think Naquin/AA is a pretty nice platoon, but Naquin has had alot of injury issues in his career. Lorenzen is coming back too, but they never want to pencil him into the lineup. He’s so big & strong? When his father passed away, he hit a ball halfway up the stands in right-center. I haven’t seen many oppo HRs like that!
I’m all for getting Lopez as many ABs as possible, but I don’t quite get the hype based on very little ML data…yes, his minor league performance warrants the sincere look. As bad as Suarez is on the whole, offensively, he is still capable of doing some real damage…perhaps the cost of his strike outs are not worth the occasional timely hit or HR, but as long as the rest of the line-up picks him up, the cost is less…and if he ever does find himself in the second half of the season, the Reds will be that much tougher.
Lopez not in the starting lineup again.. Come on.