The Cincinnati Reds bullpen gave up single runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings as the Chicago Cubs pulled out a walk-off 6-5 win at Wrigley Field on Monday night.
|Cincinnati Reds (51-49)||5||11||0|
|Chicago Cubs (50-51)
|W: Kimbrel (2-3) L: Hembree (2-5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After the Cubs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning, the Reds offense went to work immediately in the 2nd when Joey Votto crushed his 15th homer of the season to lead things off. In the next inning the Reds had a big opportunity as they loaded the bases with three straight singles to lead off the inning, but only a Votto sacrifice fly produced a run – but it was enough to tie the game up. Chicago took a lead in the bottom of the inning, but Kyle Farmer’s 9th home run of the year with one out in the 4th tied the game back up.
It was the 5th inning when Cincinnati took the lead. Jonathan India singled and Jesse Winker followed with a double to put two men on. Aristides Aquino walked to load the bases for Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman picked up his 3rd RBI of the night as he walked on four straight pitches. Tyler Stephenson grounded out to follow, but it brought a run across and extended the lead to 5-3.
The top of the 8th inning once again saw the Reds load the bases with no outs, but nothing went their way as Tucker Barnhart and Jonathan India struck out to bookend a Max Schrock fly out to shallow center that left the game at 5-4.
Chicago tied the game up in the bottom of the 8th, setting up Craig Kimbrel against the Reds 2-3-4 hitters in the top of the 9th. Jesse Winker led off with a walk. Aristides Aquino then followed up with a line drive single into left to put two on for Joey Votto, but he struck out on back-to-back check swings that were appealed to the third base umpire. That brought Eugenio Suárez to the plate and he also struck out, though the called strike against him for strike two was several inches off of the plate. That left things up to Shogo Akiyama. Kimbrel fired off a wild pitch that moved both runners up a base. It didn’t make a difference as Kimbrel would eventually pick up the strikeout to send the game to the bottom of the 9th all tied up.
It wasn’t a good start on the day for Wade Miley. After a 1-out single by Kris Bryant it was Anthony Rizzo putting the Cubs ahead 2-0 with the first home run all season against Miley by a left-handed hitter. In the next inning he had to work around a leadoff double, but did so. But the 3rd inning was another tough one as Miley walked two batters, leading to Bryant scoring on a David Bote single to put the Cubs back in front, 3-2.
After the Reds took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 5th, the Cubs got to work against Miley once again. They loaded the bases with one out and that led to a pitching change to bring on rookie Tony Santillan. Chicago countered to bring in lefty Jason Heyward. Santillan induced a grounder up the middle that Kyle Farmer picked up, stepped on second and then fired to first to complete the double play to end the inning and threat. Santillan would come back out for the 6th inning and he’d fire off a shutout inning as he struck out three batters while working around a single.
Brad Brach came out for the 7th inning. He walked David Bote with one out and he moved up to second on a bunt. Nico Hoerner hit a blooper into shallow center that Shogo Akiyama trapped, coming up inches short of making the catch on a diving try – but that blooper brought Bote around to score to make it a 5-4 game. Hoerner tried to steal second base, and was initially ruled safe, but a Reds challenge showed that Kyle Farmer got the tag down in time to end the inning.
Josh Osich took the mound to begin the 8th inning and he struck out Rafael Ortega to start the frame. Willson Contreras then hit a baseball
to the moon halfway up the bleachers in left center to tie the game up. Kris Bryant followed up with a single. Anthony Rizzo grounded into a force out and then Heath Hembree came out of the bullpen and retired Matt Duffy to keep the game tied and send it to the 9th.
Hembree returned for the bottom of the 9th in a tie game. He would walk the first batter of the inning before getting David Bote to fly out to the warning track in right field. But Hembree then walked Ian Happ and hit Nico Hoerner by a pitch to load the bases. That led to Amir Garrett entering the game and Javier Báaz to the plate. Cincinnati brought in a 5th infielder. The first pitch was hit about 390 feet to center field for a walk-off single. But there was plenty of drama as Báez walked to first base chirping at Garrett and also tossed his bat towards the ground on the infield that came a little close to the Reds lefty as he was walking off of the field. It will be interesting to see how many games Nick Castellanos is suspended for because of these actions.
Notes Worth Noting
Joey Votto’s OPS is up to .864 on the season as he continues to crush the ball since returning from the injured list.
Jesse Winker’s slump appears to be over.
Wrigley still smells gross.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs
Tuesday July 27, 8:05pm ET
Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3, 4.97 ERA) vs Adbert Alzolay (4-10, 4.58 ERA)