It was beautiful in Iowa on Thursday night for the Field of Dreams game. But unfortunately for the Reds they couldn’t get much offense going against the Cubs as Cincinnati lost 4-2 to Chicago as terrifying hologram Harry Caray looked on.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (46-65) 4 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (44-67)
2 7 1
W: Smyly (5-6) L: Lodolo (3-4) SV: Wick (7)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the 1st inning, the Reds offense tried to get something going in the bottom half. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Kyle Farmer singled with one out to put two men on base. Back-to-back fly outs would end the inning without Cincinnati getting a run across. The next inning saw Albert Almora Jr. walk and Aristides Aquino single to put two men on again, but the next three batters struck out and both guys were stranded. The team would strand two more runners in the 3rd inning.

When the 4th inning began Matt Reynolds took over at second base for Jonathan India. It was later announced that he left the game with a contusion on his left leg.

The offense didn’t do much until the bottom of the 7th. Jose Barrero led off the inning with a double and Jake Fraley followed with a walk. That brought Matt Reynolds to the plate and he doubled into the right-center gap to drive in two and cut the Cubs lead in half, making it a 4-2 ballgame. Chicago went to their bullpen to try and cut things off there. It worked as Brandon Hughes set the next three batters down in order. He returned for the 8th and the Reds went in order again. Rowan Wick came on for the 9th, but the results were the same as the Reds went down in order and fell to 44-67 on the season.

The Pitching

The 1st inning started out well enough as Nick Lodolo got the first two batters of the game to ground out. But then he hit Patrick Wisdom and things spiraled from there as the Cubs put together three consecutive RBI hits to grab a 3-0 lead. He would rebound in the 2nd inning by striking out the side.

Things got dicey again in the 3rd when he walked Willson Contreras and gave up a single to Patrick Wisdom, but as Contreras rounded second base he rolled his ankle and went to the ground where he was eventually tagged out. He would eventually walk off the field on his own and remain in the game. A walk followed to put two men on, but Lodolo worked his way out of the jam to keep the score 3-0. He wasn’t as lucky in the 4th as he gave up three singles, the last of which drove in a run to make it 4-0. In the 5th he would walk two batters and record two outs before being replaced by Buck Farmer who stranded both runners to hold the deficit at four runs. He’d come back out for the 6th and toss a shutout inning.

Joel Kuhnel threw a perfect 7th inning to keep the score at 4-0. Alexis Diaz had to work around a hit, but he struck out the next three batters to toss a shutout 8th inning. Hunter Strickland came out in the 9th inning and gave up a leadoff single and a 1-out walk, but got out of the inning unscathed and gave the offense one more opportunity to put together a comeback. They couldn’t get it done as they went in order in the bottom of the 9th.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday August 13th, 6:40pm

Adrian Sampson (0-3, 3.83 ERA) vs Graham Ashcraft (5-2, 3.94 ERA)

39 Responses

  1. Melvin

    At least it was a cool experience. 🙂 With this lineup David Bell better get out his “small ball” handbook (if he has one). Not scoring much. Have to learn how to manufacture more.

    • Steven Ross

      You are correct. Reds rarely manufacture runs. Not sure Bell has a small ball handbook. So frustrating watching this team.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds’ players should be small ball experts, because they aren’t legitimate power threats. But they’re mostly not good hitters, either, and effective bunting and base stealing doesn’t seem to be emphasized by many teams.

      • Melvin

        It’s certainly not emphasized on our team anyway.

  2. Joe P.

    The Cubs catcher Willson Contreras called a good game. I thought the Cubs were going to trade him but apparently they couldn’t make a deal that they liked.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, I can’t imagine Contreras is happy about it. I read they plan to offer him a QA to get a supplemental pick. The article I read said it will hurt his FA opportunities because it will cost the signing team a pick.

      I was confused by the article though, because I thought the new bargaining agreement eliminated that scenario.

      • BK

        The QO change was tied to having an international draft which didn’t happen.

  3. CFD3000

    This game was lost early. Lodolo couldn’t shut the door with two outs in the first, and the Reds failed to convert early base runners. Cool game, nice coverage including highlighting Bench, Votto and David Bell (though Joe Davis kept saying India fouled a ball off his leg – no, it was HBP), but a disappointing outcome. Should go back to Cincy and win this series.

  4. Rednat

    hopefully this game at the very least brought some national attention on how inept this Reds team is. Basically, a nearly quarter century of rebuilds with each subsequent rebuild taking longer for shorter windows of competitive years.

    probably won’t amount to a hill of beans but it may start a conversation somewhere nationally.

    • Bill

      Nationality no one cares why the Reds are bad or if they are rebuilding.

      I’m not sure what conversation you or looking for or how that is going to force a business owner to change how his business is run

      • Rednat

        more just about the league itself. I know ownership have been poor checker players, not rich chess players. But the fact that we have been THIS BAD FOR THIS LONG says there is something systemically wrong with he league.
        We are not the only team that has struggled either. Pirates, Tigers, Marlins etc.

        looking at the talent last night ( or lack there of)on the field for the reds, does the league really need 30 teams at this point? Just not enough talent to go around imo

      • Jim Walker

        I think the talent exists. It just needs to be distributed more equitably. That starts with more equitable distribution of revenues among the team and a set percentage of the revenue pot going to players. This works in the NFL and NHL, why not MLB?

        The Columbus Blue Jackets just signed the consensus top free agent in hockey this off season. Imagine the Reds ever doing that in MLB.

        The guy had some personal reasons for preferring Columbus. However the deal happened because the mega markets could not leverage their indirect revenues into hockey without sharing it with the other teams and half of it ending up in the players’ pockets.

      • BK

        The two most important players affecting the state of the game are the Owners and MLBPA. Remember, they completed a new CBA in March which guaranteed the gap will remain and likely grow between large and small market teams.

      • Jim Walker

        @BK and by most reports the Reds ownership a the leader of an outlier ideological group that held the rest of ownership hostage from doing a deal at least minimally a (first) step in a more progressive direction.

        Hot places will freeze over solid before they have my support again.

      • Bill

        Rednat, overall I don’t think anyone outside the small market fans actually care. The owners and players certainly don’t otherwise there would be something done about it in the CBA. The players don’t want a salary cap that would limit their earning potential, and of course the owners don’t want anyone dictating their spending either.

        I also don’t think you can use the “been bad for so long” argument, The Reds were good from 2010-2013, and if the hadn’t imploded against San Fran in 2012 they were good enough to win it all. In 2014 the writing was on the wall, but the Reds ignored it until after the 2015 All Star game when they started the failed rebuild attempt. Five years later they were spending money and back in the playoffs, although it was a weird shortened season. In 2021 they were playoff bound again until the end of season collapse and a surging Cardinals team. This time they didn’t wait to tear the club apart, making 2022 and next year really bad teams, 2024 and beyond no one really knows at this point.

        I 100% agree the system is flawed, but those of us who feel that way are either in the minority or at least insignificant to those who are making the decisions. An actual salary cap could prevent the Dodgers and Yankees from buying All Star team, but there has been no effort toward that . A salary floor could at least to some extent limit tanking, but again the owners will never agree to someone limiting their income. I know everyone wants to blame the greedy billionaire owners, but I think the MLBPA should get a huge part of the blame.

  5. TR

    No Reds game tonight, so a chance to follow the Mariners/Rangers.

  6. Mark Moore

    I tapped out before we scored. I’m with others who say we lost it early. Fun to watch, but very frustrating. I don’t like the live mic, but Joey was a rare treat.

    Back home to hopefully beat down the Stupid Cubs.

    • Jim Walker

      Hey Mark, I was watching on a tablet last night with other stuff going on around me. It was Field of Dreams meets some Spanish produced serial on Netflix which has gone on a couple of seasons too long!

      When I got time to look at the game thread here, I saw that the reaction to the game from here was almost exactly like mine.

      The Reds were boring beyond the power of the special venue to overcome. It was like sitting in the dentist’s chair to watch what should have been one of the most exciting games of the year (and beyond).

      I am wondering where things go from here with ~50 “games” left to muddle through.

  7. TJ

    How about both teams two strike approach? Lodolo seemed to get two early strikes on Cub’s batters, but left pitches in the strike zone. The Cub’s batters clobbered those pitches. Smyly got two strikes on Red’s batters, but they swung at pitches out of the zone and struck out 9 times. Pretty simple

    • Jim Walker

      Over the years I have come to believe that sometimes there are pitchers that many batters don’t worry about going down 0/2 or 1/2 against because they have confidence that whatever comes next they will be able to put in play or spoil foul.

      As a consequence, these hitters look for a specific pitch in a specific location from these pitchers to go after until they have 2 strikes against them.

      Is this because the batters have better discipline, the pitchers lack stuff, are too predictable, or a combination of all these? Who knows?

  8. Jessecuster44

    Story of the game is that nobody on the Reds (except Barrero once) could hit a curve ball. Literally flailing away at Smyly et al. It was like they had bever seen off speed pitching before.

    This offense is flat out awful and won’t improve anytime soon.

    • DHud

      I agree this offense is bad. We all knew that was going to be the way forward post all-star break and probably just need to accept it for the rest of this season

      And I guess depending on your definition of “soon” I disagree that it won’t improve. I’d say it *can* improve next season but is marred with a lot of “ifs” still

      Will Stephenson come back healthy? Will India stay healthy? Is Senzel at his watermark? Will Barrero ever realize he can’t pull a slider down and away 400 ft?

  9. Bill J

    Someone mentioned a few days ago about realignment of the divisions in baseball since everyone has the DH, Here’s my thoughts:

    NY Mets
    NY Yankees


    St Louis
    Kansas City

    Chicago Cubs
    Chicago White Sox

    San Diego

    San Francisco
    LA Angels
    LA Dodgers

    • DHud

      From a marketing stand point don’t think MLB would like that. Think the line of thinking is if you split up your big markets (LA, NY, CHI) you spread viewership to other divisions

      • Melvin

        @ Votto4life – Never thought of that. That might be an idea. There might even be less “tanking”. It’s getting too easy to make the playoffs. I’m afraid Big Bob and Son are going to be cheap no matter what.

      • Bill

        Agree, putting all the big market teams together won’t work. Look at College Football. SEC and Big 10 gobbled up all the big markets for their TV contracts then spread around to their members. That leaves the little guys at a massive disadvantage.

        Everything is about money now

    • Votto4life

      I don’t really even see a need for divisions any longer. With so many wild card teams making it, just have play off brackets life the NFL.

      I guess some people feel divisions creates rivalries. Most rivalries are dead in baseball, except maybe NYY-Boston and LAD-SF. I don’t feel a sense of rivalry when the Reds played the Pirates or the Brewers. Maybe a little with the Cardinals, but it’s not really based on playing for a divisional title. The Cards have dominated in that area.

      I used to think divisional play gave some small market teams a shot, but it seems like most of these teams intentionally tank these days and are not worthy of being in the post-season.

      • BK

        If rivalries are dead as you state, then there’s an opportunity to revive them. From a marketing standpoint, rivalries enhance the value of the games and MLB should look for methods to foster them.

      • Jim Walker

        Travel/ hotel/ road costs can be a big factor. Also, TV and streaming game time zone slotting. CBJ management pushed for years to get out of the NHL West into the East for these reasons. Understand some don’t get my hockey references but these things transcend.

      • Votto4life

        I think rivalries usually result when two teams fighting it out for the play-offs. The Reds/Dodgers were a great rivalry in the 1970s because they were often the two best teams in baseball. The team that finished second in the old NL West stayed home.

        Now, with so many WC teams that’s not the case. Right now, Seattle is trailing Houston by 11 games. The Mariners probably don’t care much if the Astros win or lose. Right now Seattle’s rivals are teams like Toronto and Cleveland who they are battling with for a WC spot. It has nothing to do with what division they are in.

      • Votto4life

        If you want to foster rivalries, then create 10 three team divisions and only allow division winners in the play-offs.

      • TR

        Cincinnati and St. Louis have some things in common since both are major river cities and have had a similar pattern of emigration over the last 150 years. Baseball wise the Cardinals double up the Reds winning World Series 11 to 5.

    • Jon

      The Reds’ division, with the exception of the Cardinals, would be nicknamed the poverty division.

  10. Rob

    Whenever the Reds wear a throwback uniform — any throwback from any era — it somehow always looks better than the current unis. Those 1919s were really sharp.

    • BK

      The shadow trim on the current uniforms was a trendy fad which has outlived its time. The throwbacks are cleaner and the current uniforms would look better with standard trim around the letters and numbers.

    • VaRedsFan

      Can’t stand the jersey they wear in day games.
      The Red on that says Reds on the chest.

  11. DataDumpster

    I also really liked the Red’s uniforms, Aquino’s assist (again), and more Donnie Barrels action. Otherwise, the game (largely because of the rest of the Red’s play) was rather uninspired and boring. It is a nice event and great to see Ferguson Jenkins, but otherwise, the talk about the “magical” cornfield gets a little overblown without a good game being played on the field.
    Another good point made is “why do we have divisions anymore?” Any good rivalries (like Reds-Pirates and Dodgers) in the 1970s have long seen their embers fade to dust in this era of interleague play and the uneven financial landscape. My traditionalist approach has been trashed since Bud Selig came aboard and the new CBA runs further away from that ideal….As for the original question raised, my answer is “no reason anymore (sadly).”

  12. Jon

    The Reds embarrassed themselves on the national stage yet again. They got swept in the 2020 playoffs. They were outmatched in the 2013 wildcard game in Pittsburgh. They lost the 2012 NLDS after being up 2-0 and having to win just one at home. They were swept and no-hit in the 2010 NLDS. Even on the last Sunday night baseball game I remember the Reds playing in back in 2013 or so, JJ Hoover blew the game (I believe it was vs. the Cardinals). The Reds simply cannot win big games. Obviously last night’s game is ultimately meaningless for both rebuilding teams, but it would be nice for the Reds to actually play well under pressure for once.