The Cincinnati Reds had 12 hits but couldn’t capitalize on many of their opportunities. The Cubs on the other hand cashed in repeatedly as they beat the Reds 8-3 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night and evened up the series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (26-48) 3 12 0
Chicago Cubs (29-46)
8 8 0
W: Steele (3-5) L: Greene (3-9)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Trailing 1-0 in the 4th inning the Cincinnati offense finally got things going. Tommy Pham had a 1-out single and stole second base. Joey Votto would walk and then Kyle Farmer singled to load the bases. But things went south as Donovan Solano lined out to center and Pham was thrown out at the plate trying to tag up and score, ending the inning without any runs.

After Chicago scored two runs in each of the next two innings to jump ahead 5-0, the Reds got on the board when Joey Votto doubled in Brandon Drury and set up runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. David Ross made a pitching change at that point and Scott Effross came on and retired the next three batters and Cincinnati saw another big opportunity go by the wayside. Later on in the 8th it was another Votto double that got things going, and he’d come around to score on a 2-out double by Albert Almora Jr. to make it a 7-2 ballgame. Brandon Drury would tack on a run in the 9th on his 16th homer of the season to make it 8-3, but that was the end of the scoring on the day.

The Pitching

Free base runners will haunt and that’s exactly what happened against Hunter Greene on Wednesday night. In the 1st inning he grazed Willson Contreras with a pitch and he came around to score on the next play when Ian Happ doubled. The Reds challenged the play at the plate, but the call stood and the Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead. In the 4th inning he walked the first two batters of the inning and then gave up a 2-run double to Nico Hoerner as Chicago extended their lead to 3-0. Greene threw 30+ pitches in the inning and he didn’t come back out for the 5th.

Luis Cessa took over from there and he allowed a 2-run homer to Willson Contreras, making it 5-0 in the 5th. The next inning saw Ross Detwiler give up a 2-run homer of his own as the Cubs made it 7-1. Detwiler couldn’t make it out of the inning and Dauri Moreta came on to record the next four outs. Jeff Hoffman, who was activated earlier in the day, took over for the 8th inning and walked the first batter he saw. That runner would come around to score on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-2. That was more than enough for Chicago to hold on for an 8-3 win.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Thursday June 30th, 8:05pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (4-1, 3.27 ERA) vs Kyle Hendricks (3-6, 4.90 ERA)

54 Responses

  1. Chris

    80 Pitches!!! Really? The worst bullpen around, and Bell wants them to go 4 innings. Unless there is something going on with Greene that we don’t know about, this is just flat out horrible on Bell’s part.

  2. Doc

    The group that wanted Greene in AAA this hear to learn to pitch is looking to have the edge at this point. He has had a couple of spectacular outings, but overall line is not good.

    The Reds only have players for 6-7 years before they fly off into free agency. Burning a year of Greene while he tries to figure it out at the MLB level, especially on a bad team, isn’t looking so good.

    • 2020ball

      So…since he’s had a few spectacular outings, wouldn’t it be safe to say he doesn’t have much to learn in AAA? Also, name me a starter in the Reds org thats better. Rare that I see people include the alternative options when making an argument here. He can learn to pitch while in the bigs. The seasons lost, let the kid pitch.

      • Chris

        Absolutely. The kid literally won player of the week a few weeks ago, now he’s destined to AAA by some in here. Amazing! Even last night, Bell made him look bad. He had ONE bad inning, and only getting 4 innings destroys his ERA.

    • AMDG

      I think most people are interested in how the rookie is pitching, more than just a line.

      It’s the context. He is rarely getting blown up in games (although that does happen). In a lot of his games he pitches well, and is “close”, but just not fully there.

      Cueto went thru the same thing for a year or two before it all finally came together.

      • TR

        It’s taken longer but it now seems to be coming together for Mahle. The very talented H G has had a taste of the Bigs and whatever is needed can be worked out at this level. More time in Triple A is not needed.

    • Luke J

      Hard disagree. This is a terrible take.

  3. Votto4life

    The Reds play 11 games on this next home stand. They play

    Atlanta 3
    NY Mets 3
    Pirates 2
    Tampa Bay 3

    How many games do you think our home town nine wins?

    I am going with 4 wins. I think 4-7 is about the best they can hope for. Sure hope I am wrong.

    • Votto4life

      I think they will win
      Atlanta 1 game
      Mets 2 games
      Pirates 1 game
      Tampa Bay 0 games

  4. Michael B. Green

    Whatever the game plan is for our bullpen they should do the opposite. Throw two-seam fastballs down in the zone and mix in breaking balls. No more working up in the zone or nibbling. It may produce K’s but it inflates ERA’s, walks, and losses. Time for the team to make an adjustment to its philosophy.

    • Keith

      I assume at this point that it’s a bullpen requirement to walk the first guy they face.

    • Chris

      We should start by not forcing them to NEEDLESSLY pitch 5 innings a game.

  5. SteveO

    Looks like Stephenson and Naquin will start rehab assignments soon. When they return to the lineup, I’d like to see Bell change it up a little. Lineup of Pham, JV, Farmer, Drury, Stephenson, Solano, Naquin, India and Senzel. Pham and JV have pretty good OBP and when Pham on 1st, JV in the LH batter box makes it more difficult for the C when Pham attempts to steal. Farmer, Drury, Stephenson and Solano are the best run producers and Naquin, India and Senzel would be a very solid bottom of the order. Senzel is coming around recently and gaining more confidence at the bottom of the order. I think India could gain too using the same idea. He can always move back to the top when he starts getting hot. Ideally, it would be India and Senzel batting 1, 2. Bench would be Garcia, Moose, Reynolds and Almora. Almora for Senzel is another option, but I think the Reds will go with Senzel.

    • Luke J

      I’ll be at the Bats game in Toledo Friday. I’m hoping Stephenson will be there.

    • Roger Garrett

      Works for me but Pham is just in the way and Farmer is losing range every day and is a utility guy.Pham goes Reynolds goes Farmer is super sub and Barrero is up at short and pick between Fairchild or Friedl or Santana for left field.Younger more athletic and actually may win a few a games which isn’t important.No base clogging,better defense and surely a change in how things are done.Neither of our lineups will happen of course but it is fun

  6. Andrew Brewer

    With 12 hits to the Cubs 8, the score should have been in favor of the Reds, but we were never in this game. Greene gave up one in 3rd, 2 in the 4th, and a couple walks that inning. His afternoon was over. The Reds scattered 3 runs, while the Relievers, starting with Cessa could not get it done. The good news is that the Reds are hitting the ball, and if that keeps up we will get back in the winning column ! i’m looking forward to some new pitchers coming up.

    • Andrew Brewer

      correction, 1 run in the first ^ for Greene…

    • Chris

      His outing was over because the manager is a joke, and thanks that a kid can only throw 80 pitches, since he had a long inning.

  7. Old-school

    Glad to see Votto get a few hits.

    That doesnt change reality unfortunately of a great player turning 39 in 2 months in rapid decline.

    Of 31 first baseman in MLB, votto is 30/31 in fWAR and below replacement . Spencer Torkelson is the worst. He could pass FrankSchwindel with a strong series.Baltimore has 2 first baseman with much higher fWAR’s.

    First base is a crucial position for a big league bat.

    Reds need to start identifying next first baseman such that he’s rotating in regularly in 2023 and a year from now has taken over. It’s July.

    • RedsFan11

      They have him in Tyler Stephenson. To bad Reds management is so short sided to see that.

      • TR

        Agreed. Tyler Stephenson’s consistent offense is needed long-term at first base. If the Red’s do not have an outstanding young catcher in the pipeline, then drafting for that very important position is a necessity.

      • Broseph

        Reason is Stephenson is just an average first baseman, where he’s an good-to-elite catcher. Putting Stephenson at 1B helps the health issue, but it doesn’t make the club better

      • Hanawi

        Moving Stephenson means a worse hitter at catcher. Not sure why this keeps getting suggested. First base is the easiest position to fill, catcher is the hardest.

      • Jim Walker

        I’m with the folks pointing out we don’t know that Stephenson as 1B is an elite offensive player at that position. What we do know is that his offense is elite for a catcher.

        I’ll throw another thought on the fire. The way TS gets around on the bases, maybe LF would be a good alternate position for him. Like 1B, LF is primarily an offensive position; but, it takes more athleticism than 1B, making the pool of viable offensive candidates smaller. That difference might be key in TS’s offense being enough to make the switch to LF worthwhile.

      • Brad B.

        Johnny Bench prefers Stephenson stays at catcher. Look at his career. He had broken his thumb twice in a year. He said on days he did not catch, he would play outfield like Left field, centerfield, and third base just because his bat was so important in the lineup. He admitted he was not even average in the outfield. Perhaps this might be a path for Tyler Stephenson.

  8. RedsFan11

    Is Brandon Drury just this years Scooter Gennet or Derek Dietrich? Or is he something more?

    • Keith

      I’m pretty skeptical, but his numbers seem in line with what he produced in 2016 and 2017 with Arizona, other than uptick in HR. I’d err on the side of trading for value rather than extending, because I don’t put a ton of faith in 29 year olds suddenly transforming, but I’ve been wrong before.

      • RedsFan11

        Yeah I tend to agree , but doubt they could get much more than a lottery ticket prospect for him, idk

  9. DataDumpster

    After Hunter’s previous start, making at least 2 in a row where he got roughed up quite a bit, Bell said: “He’s right where he needs to be.” Of course the reporters were too dumfounded or timid to follow up on that. This start, he picked up the usual habits of the rest of the staff with free passes, but otherwise looked pretty good with only 2 gappers in 4 innings. So, is there some mysterious innings reduction plan or pushback to him being pulled so early? Meanwhile the bullpen does what they do and the staff has another typical day with 5 BB, 2 HBP, and a WP (in a pear tree). Maybe Hunter needs some time on the IL or the other list, seems like most of our struggling players find their way to that corner one way or another.

    • Luke J

      He gave up 2 hits. Wouldn’t call that roughed up. It’s the free passes that were the problem.

  10. Doc4uk

    Is McGarry a potential Votto replacement perhaps platooning with Stephenson ? Let Votto DH in his final year .

    • Votto4life

      McGarry is my pick, he should be more advanced for his age, but maybe something clicked with him this season. Anyway, I hope Scary McGarry is the Red’s future first basemen.

  11. Indy Red Man

    The offense had their chances. Farmer’s line-out with men on 2nd/3rd really hurt. Down 5-1 with 2nd/3rd nobody out and getting nothing else pretty much ended the game.

    Pitching wise the pen is even worse then what they had most of last year. Cessa is terrible. They didn’t bother getting Bell a lefty at all? They have to do something for next year? Maybe Justin Dunn? It just sabotages everything everyone else is trying to accomplish? Trade Naquin for an arm. He can hit righties and help somebody. Start with 1 arm and go from there.

    • Indy Red Man

      Meanwhile Cionel Perez has a 1.14 era for Baltimore. Why would you immediately give up on a lefty throwing north of 95 mph? The baseball IQ of the decision makers in this franchise is off the charts bad. Are they all that dumb or nobody will listen to the guys that look at the flip side of the coin?

      • JohnnyTV

        “The baseball IQ of the decision makers in this franchise is off the charts bad. Are they all that dumb or nobody will listen to the guys that look at the flip side of the coin?”

        I think it is some of both. How they handle Perez was classic Reds’ bumbling.
        They burned through the young man. How many times did he go back and forth between Cincinnati and Louisville last year. A day at a time, one or two appearances and then out again, only to come back a week or two later for a couple days.
        No consistency, no support.

        How many Spanish speakers do the Reds have on the coaching staff?
        Seems like a wise investment for any business these days.

        The Astros’ fans in my family were very high on Perez and displeased that they let him go and happy for the Reds.

        Serious bungling, as you suggest.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree with the comment about the Reds offense having its chances. The pitching wasn’t to snuff but neither was the offense. On the night, I’d guess the Reds had more legitimate scoring opportunities than the Cubs. They could/ should have been right there trading with the Cubbies instead of 4 then 6 runs down.

  12. Steven Ross

    I have my issues with Bell, especially his lineups, but I had no problem with him pulling Greene. He’s only 22. Season is lost so why push him. Save him for when the Reds actually play meaningful games. (Insert joke here)

    • Indy Red Man

      Reminds me of a joke I heard on an old roast of Rob Lowe that I watched the other night:

      Its not easy being Rob Lowe. He told me that he’s so handsome that its hard to find meaningful roles. I wanted to ask Brad Pitt about that, but he’s too busy acting in meaningful roles.

  13. Roger garrett

    Reds have no patience with young players.They expect them to perform at a high level from the start while accepting
    anything from a vet cause he is paid more and maybe and I said maybe is a league avg player.Bob falls in love with his players and Bell loves vets.To give a young player a chance is not even an option unless they walk on water.If they come up they go for coffee and doughnuts and get a few at bats hit 200 and are declared a bust.Jon India was ROY and he wouldn’t even had seen the field unless Eugenio goes to short and Moose goes down.Now Barrero is waiting but nope he is blocked by Farmer who is losing range every day.Bring him up let him play and please let’s not worry about his hitting and destroying his confidence.Give him the job and check August of next year and see.Ownership must go they just don’t want to win

    • Jim Walker

      I recall Tracy Jones (when he was still a serious baseball guy) and the late and very missed Doc Rodgers talking about how young rising players need somebody in an organization’s power structure to be specifically looking out for their interests until they were clearly established. Otherwise, with the careers of scouts and development guys often determined by which players rise the highest, better players can get lost in the shuffle. In short, office politics, just like in the “real world”.

    • Old Big Ed

      Roger, I don’t see how Farmer could be “losing range every day,” because he has no more range to lose. He makes up for his lack of range with bad arm strength.

      I recently saw a AAA game with Barrero, and the difference in athleticism is astonishing. Farmer hits left-handed pitching very well, but he is at or below replacement value in all other aspects of the game.

      I would be good with Farmer platooning with Votto at first, because Votto is now replacement level against lefties. But we all know that the Reds aren’t going to do that, because they are more concerned about the atmospherics than they are with putting the best team on the field.

  14. Roger garrett

    Drury was signed just to be signed.Solano/Moose were to play 3rd and DH ahead of him and would have if they had been healthy regardless of how they performed.Drury would have pinch hit probably went down to the minors if he had options and the Reds love players with options and would have been released at 29 while a 34 year old and a 35 year old making big bucks does what? Drury may be an all star and he did it by default.Ownership must go.Bell’s palsy kicking in this morning forgive me.Some are worried about Senzel’s power and where’s it at.Who cares right now?I hope he stays injury free and let’s check back middle of next year.Where is Santana where is Fairchild and again where is Barrera?Palsy at its max right now got to go

  15. Jim Walker

    Just a few thoughts about Hunter Greene.

    His control doesn’t seem to be as absolutely pinpoint as it was earlier in the year. Perhaps that is the wear down of pitching every 5 days in the MLB environment?

    The umpires don’t look to be squeezing Greene but on the other hand, he can’t seem to get a break around the edges of the zone. In all seriousness, is it possible his stuff is fooling the umps as much or more than it is doing the same with opposing hitters?

    In particular, on Wednesday night, I thought I saw a number of fastballs with late arm side lateral movement which showed on the TV strike box as on the black which were all called balls. Perhaps the hitters are recognizing pitches they know they can’t do anything with and taking their chances on the calls?

    What does Greene need to do? I’d say spend time in the video room learning the umpires. Move his pitches in the inch or two when needed to get calls or swings. Then expand the zone as far as the ump will go with him and when he is ahead in a count go a tick beyond and hope to get a swing or a call on a ball that fools the ump.

    And of course, that third reliable pitch can only help, even if it is just adding to and taking away from his fastball velocity.

    • Rednat

      been following Greene since a ball in dayton.
      there is just something about him.
      His fast ball presents itself well to the batter.
      Almost like a batting practice 100mph pitch. just too easy to pick up. Even in A ball he was not as dominant as i thought he would be.
      I know i am in the minority here but i still think he will be a shortstop when it is all said and done. he is just too athletic to waste as a starting pitcher

      • Jim Walker

        Based on how the Reds (mis)handled Michael Lorenzen through 6 years of service time, if Greene should wash out as a starter (which I don’t see in the cards if he stays healthy), they will make him a backend reliever.

        Here’s a big difference between Greene and Lorenzen. In the off season ML spent as much or even more time on his hitting as his pitching always hoping the Reds would come around to finding a two way role for him. He always and still wanted to be an MLB outfielder.

        This spring I saw a Greene quote that even though he had to take some PAs in the minors, he had not seriously thought about his hitting since he was drafted. HG is just as driven as ML but he is totally committed to being the best MLB pitcher he can be, not proving he could have been a position player. He will spend the winter developing a 3rd or figuring out how to adapt the pitches he throws now to the same effect.

      • Old Big Ed

        Greene has 19 ABs in the last 5 season, with 3 hits. The position-player train for him has long since left the station. Even if it hadn’t, he is 6’5″, 230 pounds. He isn’t going to play shortstop.

        Go back and look at Jacob DeGrom’s entry on Baseball Reference and explain how Greene is disappointing at age 22.

    • Daytonnati

      Robo-ump cannot get here soon enough. Did it hurt the “culture” of tennis to eliminate the human element??

  16. Mark Moore

    I barely watched last evening (other things to do). I didn’t miss much aside from the heartache and misery that seems to follow us, especially after the high of a win.

    • TR

      Ashcraft could get the Reds into a position tonight to take the series.

  17. Jim Walker

    Breaking on Twitter if Doug doesn’t already have it up here? Tyler Naquin is officially on rehab with AAA Louisville starting today. Bats are in Toledo and play at 7pm Eastern tonight. Bet somebody is burning the turnpikes between Chicago and Toledo to get TN there.

    Tyler Stephenson is expected to begin rehab “later in the week” (uh, my calendar says it is already Thursday) 😉

  18. LarkinPhillips

    A lot of people are clamoring for Barrero to be called up and wanting to move Farmer and bench Votto, etc. Barrero is hitting .214 with 42Ks in 94 ABs in AAA in June. He is coming back off surgery. Let the kid find his rhythm and then we can start complaining about Farmer blocking him. But for now, Barrero does not need to be called up.

    And on benching Votto, I am not a massive fan of Votto by any means. But the guy has earned the right to be treated this way. It would be different if his poor play was holding us back from the playoffs or something, but it is far from affecting this teams W/L record. Next year, maybe it is a different story and he has to be platooned and batted lower in the lineup. This year, he gets a pass from me.

  19. Chris

    Yeah, never mind the value in letting a young kid learn how to right himself, and fight through a game where maybe he doesn’t have his best control, especially on such a winning team as this Reds team is. Unbelievable how these kids are babied to such a point that it’s almost laughable. This is your top prospect, and you pull him after 80 pitches at 22 years old. Wow!