After dropping the afternoon game on Friday the Cincinnati Reds desperately needed to win the nightcap against the Cubs. Chicago held a lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, but Nick Martini hit a long home run to tie the game up and two batters later it was rookie Noelvi Marte picking up a walk-off single to give the Reds a split of the doubleheader.
|Chicago Cubs (72-63)
|Cincinnati Reds (70-67)
|W: Diaz (7-4) L: Alzolay (2-5)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Lyon Richardson stepped into the big leagues after being called up between games one and two. He ran into trouble early, walking the first two batters of the game before striking out Ian Happ. Then he walked Cody Bellinger to load the bases, but he’s pick up back-to-back strikeouts to avoid any damage. He’d have to work around a walk and a single in the 2nd inning but was able to do that as well. Richardson wasn’t so lucky in the 3rd inning as he gave up a solo homer to Cody Bellinger as the Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead.
That lead didn’t last very long as the Reds got the run back in the bottom of the frame on back-to-back doubles from Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl. They couldn’t bring Friedl around and settled for one run in the inning.
Richardson would pitch into the 5th inning, retiring the first two batters before a walk of Nico Hoerner. That would end his day and what turned out to be his longest outing of the year at any level. The Reds called in Sam Moll from the bullpen and he saw Hoerner steal second and then score on an Ian Happ single to put the Cubs back in front 2-1.
Neither team got much going from there until the bottom of the 8th when Jake Fraley had a 1-out doule to put himself in scoring position. Harrison Bader came in to pinch run for him and then moved over to third when TJ Friedl laid down what turned out to be a sacrifice bunt, but Bader would be stranded at third when Spencer Steer struck out to end the inning.
With the score still 2-1 the Reds had the middle of their order due up in the bottom of the 9th inning. Elly De La Cruz struck out for the 4th time in the game to start the inning. Nick Martini made up for that by hitting a game tying home run 20 rows into right center. Christian Encarnacion-Strand followed with a single and Stuart Fairchild took over as a pinch runner. That brought Will Benson to the plate. He battled, but struck out on the 7th pitch of the at-bat, but Fairchld stole second base and then took third when the throw went into center. Noelvi Marte was set up to be a hero with the winning run 90 feet away and be a hero he was as he lined a single into center for a walk-off win to give Cincinnati a split of the doubleheader.
Key Moment of the Game
Noelvi Marte’s game winning single, but we’re giving an assist to Nick Martini’s moonshot that tied the game up two batters earlier.
Notes worth noting
Jake Fraley picked up three hits, including two doubles on the night.
Buck Farmer, Ian Gibaut (2 innings), and Alexis Diaz combined for four shutout innings of relief.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday September 2nd, 6:40pm ET
Javier Assad (3-2, 2.96 ERA) vs Andrew Abbott (8-4, 3.35 ERA)