Mike Minor put together his third straight solid start, while Aristides Aquino homered twice and picked up three hits for the Cincinnati Reds as they picked up a 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (54-80) 7 10 0
Chicago Cubs (57-79) 1 12 1
W: Minor (4-10) L: Assad (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After going in order in the first two innings the Reds offense got going when Aristides Aquino hit a 438-foot home run out of Wrigley Field to tie the game up in the top of the 3rd. The next inning it was Jake Fraley’s turn to join the home run party as he clobbered an opposite field solo homer to put Cincinnati in front 2-1.

In the top of the 6th inning the Reds offense went back to work and they got some help along the way. Jonathan India and Kyle Farmer had back-to-back 1-out singles and then Jake Fraley walked to load the bases after a pitching change. Spencer Steer then came through with an infield single to third base, but Christopher Morel threw the ball into the stands to bring two runs in and make it a 4-1 game. Donovan Solano then singled in another run to make it 5-1 and the Cubs made yet another pitching change. That made no immediate difference as Aristides Aquino came through with an RBI single to make it 6-1. Michael Rucker did shut things down in the inning from there, but the damage had been done.

Cincinnati wouldn’t get another hit until the top of the 9th when Aristides Aquino homered once again, extending the Reds lead to 7-1. That was all the Reds would get, but it was more than enough to even up the series.

The Pitching

Mike Minor had to work around two hits in the 1st inning, but he was able to do just that. In the next inning he gave up three straight singles with the third one driving in a run to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. He would strike out Christopher Morel to follow and set up a webgem of his own when a grounder up the middle was grabbed by Minor behind his back before he fired to second base to begin an inning ending double play.

From there it was plenty of easy work for Minor, that is, until the 6th inning. Franmil Reyes began the inning with a single, but he was erased on a double play. But Minor then walked Nelson Velazquez and gave up a single to Yan Gomes. That was the end of the night for the lefty, who was removed from the game as David Bell called on Derek Law to come in out of the bullpen. Law needed just three pitches to get a ground out to end the inning and keep the Reds ahead 6-1. He would return for the 7th and once again keep the Cubs off of the board.

Joel Kuhnel took over for Cincinnati in the 8th and he struck out two batters in a perfect inning of work. He returned in the 9th and gave up a leadoff single, but picked up two more strikeouts and a ground out to finish the game off and seal a 7-1 victory.

Notes Worth Noting

Aristides Aquino didn’t have a 3-hit game in 2020. Or in 2021. And he didn’t have one in 2022 until a week ago. He picked up a second one in 2022 on Wednesday night.

TJ Friedl picked up his 5th triple of the season in just his 47th game. He’s currently in 3rd place in the National League in triples.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Thursday September 8th, 2:20pm ET

Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.18 ERA) vs Adrian Sampson (1-5, 3.95 ERA)

25 Responses

  1. Dennis Westrick

    Minor’s ROI is now $2.5 million per win! Somebody call Warren Buffett!

    • Redgoggles

      Which is still 4 times better than the guy he replaced (Miley.)

  2. 2020ball

    Friedl has been impressive, he starting to look like a nice future piece. Glad to see Aquino having success finally, he doesn’t have to hit that much better to be a useful player off the bench or a fringy starter.

  3. LDS

    My question is whether AA changed something. Is it just a fluke, sustainable, etc. As I wrote on the game thread, his performance over the last 5 games far exceeds his average performance, especially only 4 SOs in 16 PAs. Maybe he actually listened to Eric Davis’ criticism. If I were a struggling hitter, I would.

    • 2020ball

      hm, I hadnt seen those quotes yet. I’m sure didnt see him doing any of the things Davis talked about, what he really needs to do is stop swinging at good sliders. He didnt swing and miss today or rarely did so thats good I suppose.

      • LDS

        Davis was a couple of weeks ago. Easy to find. Seemed like reasonable suggestions, but I’m not qualified to judge. I’m a numbers/management type, not baseball mechanics. I’ve been curious about his eyesight in relationship to his stance, e.g. peripheral vision? Maybe it’s just careless pitching.

      • Still a Red

        Haven’t seen Davis’ remarks. I’ll look them up. Not to compete with his expertise (hah), but the sliders AA swings at and missing are breaking low and outside. The ones he hit out last night were over the plate. His bloop single was off the end of the bat, indicating he was still exerting a pull swing. He really needs to learn to read that slider breaking low and away and lay off it…or learn how to drive it the other way.

        It would be fantastic if he could fix his problems. He learned what he does now to get the power, hopefully, with proper instruction he can learn something new…but time is running out.

      • Jim Walker

        @LDS> To my eyes, AA looks to have closed his stance and lowered his hands markedly. He seems to be varying how open/ closed he stands awaiting the pitch from PA to PA and even from pitch to pitch within a PA. However, he is never as extremely opened as he had been for the last season or longer. The top of his top hand appears to be right at shoulder level, at about the same height the bottom of his bottom hand looked to be previously.

  4. SteveAreno

    For Tj Friedl to be in third place for triples after so few games is astounding! Is coach figuring out a relief pitcher can this do more than one inning?

  5. Melvin

    I don’t see how Aquino, will all of his skills and potential, is not at least a fifth outfielder. VERY FEW have an arm like he has and NO ONE has accomplished the things he has. He may never hit for average but he IS a four tool player. It’s not like he’s over the hill. I think we’re seeing the result of a lot of hard work and regular consistent playing time. Leave him in for a whole season and a lot of people might be very pleasantly surprised. Call me crazy. I still believe. I like the guy. He tries very hard. He has such a great attitude. He doesn’t give up. He gets “knocked down” but gets back up fighting harder.

    • Jim Walker

      Aquino’s play everywhere except at the plate is infectious even almost charismatic at times. While it wouldn’t make a real impact on his value, if he turned a third of his K’s into quiet outs (re: Senzel), he would be more beloved versus being a lightning rod for deep dissatisfaction over the state of the team.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree, and if you watched the post game show, he did his first interview with JD in English. Quite an accomplishment.

  6. Rednat

    I think Aquino will be a red for a long time. if they haven’t got rid of him by now they never will. he is affordable and fairly durable (although he has been banged up this year) and plays good defense. the question is can the reds win with guys like Aquino and Barrero. that won’t hit for much average but have some skill sets in other areas?

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    It’s good to see Friedl finishing the season performing well. I think him and Fraley should be part of the OF roster in 2023. As for Aquino, the key to stick in the roster is consistency, if he’s able to mantain at least a .200/.300/.400 line along the way he’ll remain.

    • TR

      As much as defense is often overlooked, AA brings it to the forefront. An outfield of Friedl, Fraley and Aquino will be around, at least, for another season to give prospect sorting more time.

  8. docproc

    I like Friedl’s bat, wheels, and glove, but his arm in the OF is terrible. The Cubs were running on him all night. Teams have clearly figured out that both Friedl and Senzel can’t throw out a runner at third or the plate.

    • Jim Walker

      I have been noticing the same. It doesn’t look like Fraley throws much better either. Perhaps at least in part, we are judging them on the effect of seeing Aquino throw?

      • Mark Moore

        Perhaps. But point taken that those two particular arms aren’t “plus”. Senzel has a future back on the dirt, so that mitigates some of the OF arm stuff with him.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Yeah, he really does not have much in the arm department, but he hustles and covers a lot of ground. He needs to work on his throws.

  9. Mark Moore

    This is the way to roll into the final weeks of September. Always fun to beat the Stupid Cubs, especially at Wrigleyville.

    Back at it in less than 6 hours. Here’s to a series win before we head off to meet up with the WLB’s.

  10. Steven Ross

    Have to give Minor some credit. Mentioned a month ago, he’s that 5th starter that goes 10 & 10 with a 5 something ERA. As long as the offense scores 5 or more runs, he looks good. Sarcasam.

    Like Friedl and India at the top of the order. I just wonder how many players we see in the lineup now, will be part of the order next April.

  11. Alex Reds

    Aquino’s WAR is up to 1.2 which is solid. That’s impressive considering on the year he has a just under .600 OPS. I do think he can get his OPS higher. Aquino has 3 more years of control and his arbitration this year should be very low with an under .600 OPS. On a low payroll team for next year, he should be a nice above average player because his defense factors in so much. He hasn’t been walking lately and his BB-K still isn’t good. But, his average in last 7 games is up to .333. The potential is there, with a decent average and high slug plus that defense I do think he becomes at least an average player over the next 3 years at a cheap price. A keeper.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Do you actually watch him play? Thank God you aren’t the GM.