Jayson Heyward blasted a three-run home run off Brad Brach in the bottom of the 10th inning, sending the Cincinnati Reds to their sixth consecutive extra-inning loss (dating back to June), 4-1 to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
|Cincinnati Reds (74-67)||1||6||1|
|Chicago Cubs (65-76)
|W: Heuer (7-2) L: Brach (1-2)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After the Reds were scoreless in the top of the 10th, Brach was brought on to face the home team in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Willson Contreras started as the “ghost runner” at second, and Patrick Wisdom immediately smoked a single to left, sending Contreras to third. Manager David Bell went to a five-man infield with two on and nobody out, but Heyward made any strategic move meaningless.
In dropping the three-game series to the Cubs, two games to one, the Reds lost their fifth consecutive series. It very much feels at the moment that Cincinnati is reverting to the offensive woes of the 2020 season. The pitching, while excellent for nine innings tonight, is not good enough to support an offense that can’t score consistently. What the Reds need is one or two players to go on a very hot streak and “put the team on their backs,” so to speak, as we have seen at times from Nick Castellanos, Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and Tyler Naquin. Without that, it’s hard to see at this point where the offense will come from.
With the Padres blowing out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight, it does appear the Reds will drop one game behind San Diego in the Wild Card race. This is not a time to give up hope, but things have to turn around in very, very, very short order.
With two out and nobody on in the top of the fourth, Votto banged one out to left-center field to tie the game at 1-1 and set another milestone:
Home run number 3?2?4?
Joey Votto is now tied with Frank Robinson for the 2nd most homers in franchise history! ? pic.twitter.com/tPXFjiTzrf
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 9, 2021
Jonathan India was the only Reds batter with two hits on a night when the offense accumulated only six hits total.
Vladimir Gutierrez bounced back from two subpar starts by allowing only two hits over five innings tonight. Unfortunately, one of the two hits was a solo shot off the bat of Reds killer Ian Happ in the bottom of the first.
Including that solo HR, Ian Happ has 7 HR and 15 RBI in 19 apps during the Reds this season.
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) September 8, 2021
As all of Redleg Nation knows, Happ’s production against Cincinnati is ridiculous:
Active career HR leaders vs. Reds:
Pujols: 47 in 180 games
Rizzo: 34 in 153 games
McCutchen: 32 in 166 games
Molina: 26 in 235 games
Bryant: 23 in 94 games
IAN HAPP: 22 in 70 games
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 9, 2021
Tony Santillan looked like the kind of bullpen stopper the Reds have been looking for all year while mowing down the Cubs in the sixth and seventh innings. I’d like to see him get a shot in the closer role with the way he’s been throwing.
Luis Cessa retired Chicago in order in the eighth on three grounders, and Mychal Givens retired the heart of the Cubs order in the ninth one-two-three to send the game to extras.
As Redleg Nation regular VaRedsFan pointed out late in the game thread, it is a very good question why Brach was brought on in the 10th inning rather than Lucas Sims, who is on an extended scoreless streak. The question was not addressed in the post-game interview with Bell on the Reds’ telecast on Bally Sports Network.
Notes Worth Noting
Some multitasking is going on for the Reds’ shortstop, and it makes you wonder what will happen roster-wise while he is away on paternity leave …
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) September 8, 2021
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, September 10, 8:15 p.m. ET
Tyler Mahle (11-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (5-6, 4.89 ERA)