The Cincinnati Reds got a rough start from Frankie Montas that set them behind and while Carson Spiers and the bullpen were outstanding in the game it wasn’t enough to overcome another strong showing from Shota Imanaga as he continues to pitch like a Cy Young candidate. The Cubs never trailed in the game and held on for a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon to avoid being swept in the 4-game series and put an end to Cincinnati’s 7-game winning streak.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (32-34)
4 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (32-34)
2 5 0
W: Imanaga (6-1) L: Montas (3-5) SV: Neris (9)
Box Score | Game Thread

Frankie Montas did not get out to the best start on Sunday. He walked Mike Tauchman to start the game and then gave up a double. Cody Bellinger hit a laser to follow, but it was right at Jeimer Candelario at first base who caught it for the first out of the inning. Another walk followed to lead the bases for known Reds killer Ian Happ. And after being held hitless in the first three games of the series, he got his revenge with a 3-run double. Montas would walk another batter before getting out of the inning having thrown 39 pitches.

Things didn’t go much better in the 2nd inning when Miguel Amaya doubles to lead off the inning and scored on a single by Mike Tauchman to put the Cubs up 4-0. Montas struck out Seiya Suzuki but then gave up a single to Cody Bellinger to put two runners on. That was the end of the day for the Reds starter as Carson Spiers was called in from the bullpen. He would get a strikeout and then a groundout from Ian Happ to end the inning and strand both runners that were on base.

Cincinnati would cut into the Chicago lead when Luke Maile took the first pitch of the bottom of the 3rd and hit it into the seats in left field to make it 4-1. Neither team would score again for a while as Carson Spiers fired off 5.2 shutout innings of relief with seven strikeouts. The Reds would break through for a run in the bottom of the 7th against Shota Imanaga with three consecutive singles to lead off the inning, but the third single saw Santiago Espinal thrown out at second base as he tried to turn a single into a double. Imanaga rebounded to strike out TJ Friedl and then the Cubs brought in Mark Leiter Jr. and he struck out pinch-hitter Jake Fraley to end the threat.

After a perfect 8th inning from Brent Suter, the Reds turned things over to Buck Farmer in the 9th. He gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning but got a double play ball off of the bat of Christopher Morel to follow. Then he was asked to intentionally walk Ian Happ. After falling behind 2-0 to Dansby Swanson and having Happ steal second, he intentionally walked Swanson to load the bases. The move paid off as David Bote flew out to the warning track in right center to end the inning.

When the bottom of the 9th began the Cubs sent Hector Neris to the mound, but he didn’t like the condition of it and the grounds crew had to come out and do work, resulting in about 10 minutes of waiting around. With what he felt was a better pitching surface, Neris proceeded to retire the side on 13 pitches to end the Reds winning streak at seven games with a 4-2 Chicago win as the Cubs avoided the 4-game sweep.

Key Moment of the Game

Ian Happ’s 3-run double in the 1st inning. It put Chicago up 3-0 and that was enough to hold on for the day.

Notes Worth Noting

Carson Spiers 5.2 innings were a career best in the big leagues. His seven strikeouts matched the career high that he had back in his big league debut – also against the Cubs (September 3rd, 2023). Spiers lowered his ERA to 2.33 with the outing (19.1 innings).

With Spiers having to step in for Montas in the game, the Reds have one less option to start the game on Tuesday.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cleveland Guardians vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday June 11th, 7:10pm ET

Triston McKenzie (2-3, 4.16 ERA) vs TBA

99 Responses

  1. Klugo

    All good things must come to an end. We battled to make it a game and I’m happy with that.
    1 Quality Start every 4 tries is not good enough from Montas. Time for the vet to carry his weight. Sucks we had to use Spiers.

    Reply
    • jmb

      Montas, what a flop! Reds need to get Crochet, not Robert Jr. True, the Reds need more pop in the line-up, but Ward and Adell have been made available by the Angels, and they come without Robert Jr.’s big money contract. But maybe the White Sox would be interested in getting Montas back, plus prospects, for both Crochet and Robert Jr.

      Reply
      • mac624

        Bet you didn’t say that about Montas after his last game? lol. And I don’t think the Reds need to empty the farm system for another starter. They are actually in the as a Wild Card if the season ended today. I’d rather things play out a bit more and then see where we stand. A lot can change in a week.

      • redfanorbust

        Not sure I would call him a flop. He just came off a really good game at Coors. Agreed he has not lived up to his 16M contract to be sure but we are not yet to the all star break yet so I can’t make any substantial judgements. Not sure what Montas’s value would be right now in a trade anyway. I might be more inclined to a trade if we did not have CES, Marte and Mclain due back later in the year.

    • mac624

      Kinda feels like our luck ran out in this game. We tried the last couple games to give it away but got a timely hit or out to seal the deal. Fought back as you said but couldn’t get that timely hit or out. A day of rest, before two more very winnable games against Cleveland. Time to start a new winning streak.

      Reply
  2. RedsMonk65

    Good synopsis. Rough outing by Montas (worst of the year, perhaps) but outstanding showing by Spiers and the bullpen. Unfortunately, the bats could not get it done. Base-running gaffes didn’t help.

    Reply
  3. Melvin

    Spiers looks like a keeper to stay up on the 26 man roster. Who does he eventually replace? Farmer?

    Reply
      • Melvin

        I would take him over Sims but doubt that will happen. Any thoughts?

      • Doug Gray

        I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I am saying I don’t believe the front office will think about it.

      • Melvin

        Probably correct. Seems like there ought to be room for Spiers and Santillan somewhere. Our bp is decent but not great.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Again, ERAs for RPs can be misleading! For example, if Buck Farmer comes in a game and inherits 2 or 3 runners from the previous pitcher AND they score due to HIS ineffectiveness, the runs HE allows do not impact his ERA!

        Just saying there needs to be another metric for measuring the effectiveness of RPs.

        No mystery here, Doug! NOT a big Buck Farmer fan!

      • Melvin

        Like I said if we want to go up to another level there are hard decisions that will have to be made.

      • Oldtimer

        In reply to D Westrick above, but that isn’t happening.

      • Oldtimer

        More for B D Westrick.

        Farmer has 165 ERA+ this year. Only Moll is better.

        You really are utterly clueless.

      • JB

        Dennis- Your inherited runner theory is going to surprise you. The worst in the NL is
        1) Nardi Mia -24
        2) Cruz Cincy -23
        On the Reds
        Wilson-17
        Sims,-14
        Diaz-8
        Suter-5
        Martinez-5
        Pagan-5
        Farmer-5
        Moll-2
        Spiers-1
        Young-1

      • DW

        Oldtimer, why do you have to call Dennis utterly clueless. Just layout your facts and let them speak for themselves. You made a good point. No need to throw in your ad hominem remark with it.

      • Oldtimer

        Because he is, time and again.

        Farmer in 2024 is a pretty good relief pitcher. His numbers show that.

        Westrick in 2024 is NOT a good commenter. His lack of awareness shows that, time and again. Over and over.

        Farmer has been above league average (ERA+) each of his 3 years as a Red. This year, he is WAY above average (ERA+).

      • Mauired

        Weren’t you the one who claimed Santiago was going to be the next Brandon Phillips? Talk about clueless.

      • Doc

        Amazing, Doug, how many people want to jettison the reliever with one on the best ERAs. Thanks for pointing it out, again.

      • Melvin

        Was thinking since Spier pitched today and there are only five games this week possibly:

        Greene – Tuesday
        Lodolo – Wednesday
        Abbott – Friday
        Montas – Saturday
        Spiers – Sunday

  4. CI3J

    It’s looking like Tuesday is going to be a bullpen day.

    Reply
    • RedsGettingBetter

      With Martinez getting a bulk of innings for sure…

      Reply
      • Dennis Westrick

        Just don’t start Nick! He seems to do better as a non-starter!

  5. Red Lasso

    I want you (a sweep)
    I need you (a sweep)
    But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna get you (the way Frankie pitched)
    Now don’t be sad
    ‘Cause 3 out of 4 ain’t bad
    Now don’t be sad
    ‘Cause 3 out of 4 ain’t bad

    Reply
  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Espinal being thrown out at 2b with a runner already at 3b and no outs trailing 2-4 killed the possible rally that were cooking. The play was not even close to be safe. Bad fundamentals applied. That was the only clear chance Reds had to score some runs thru the game.
    Spiers is deserving a spot in the Reds pitching squad, really good job so far.
    Montas is a concern right now. He’s been very inconsistent thru the season…

    Reply
    • Harry Stoner

      Bad fundamentals.

      Bell “That’s who we are!”

      Reply
      • Ted Alfred

        Sitting Stephenson instead of DH was absurdly dumb with off days tomorrow and Thursday.

        Another DB special

      • jmb

        It’s a bad team. But with the current playoff system, even bad teams can get in. In the near future, every team will receive a trophy, so players don’t cry on tv, as at least one does each year or each playoff series.

    • Cyrus

      This is spot on and reveals the salient point many make on this site about poor baserunning. When you look at Espinal’s decision in the context of the game at that juncture, it was truly a horrendous decision on his part. Zero outs, solid hitters coming up, the starter’s pitch count was peaking and we are playing a team reeling and desperate for a win. Don’t give them anything…make them earn everything. We had them on the ropes and we shot ourselves in the foot.

      Reply
    • Rob

      Turns out that this possibly hurt us. But it was a 2 run margin at that point and having the second runner in scoring position was worth a risk. Tie game with a single vs a tough pitcher. Plus we ran on Happ and his arm all series. Really no problem from this end. Not all risks work out. Took a pretty darn accurate throw. I am actually a little more down on Friedl not getting the runner on third home. Cubs were conceding it. Neither play probably makes a difference in the final result though.

      Reply
      • Doc

        Cowboy said it looked to him that Espinal thought the throw would go to third. Happ thought otherwise.

    • JayTheRed

      Let’s remember Espinal had a 2 for 3 day even with getting thrown out at 2nd. Nobody mentioned that.

      Reply
  7. Melvin

    There’s been a lot of talk about Rober Jr lately. He’s not off to a good start. In 48 AB .188/.220/.699.

    Reply
      • Melvin

        Don’t know much about him. White Sox are blacked out here in Indy so I can’t watch him. Just going by stats. He’s 0-4 today with 2 Ks anyway.

      • JayTheRed

        Scooter Gennett hit 4 home runs in one day but was he a great player. I’d say no. He was an adequate player.

    • mac624

      Pretty small sample size. And even elite players take 100 ABs sometimes to get back into the swing of things post injury. His power seems to be okay, but once he finds his balance, those stats will raise quickly. He’d be worth trading for at the right price. I wouldn’t sell the farm to get him, but his potential, when healthy, would give the Reds a potential middle of the order of Mclain, EDLC, Roberts Jr, and CES. You mix that with the solid starting pitching and that’s a team that should win the division and make a very deep run in the playoffs.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        I hope he’s as good as everyone says he is and that the Reds are able to pull it off.

    • VaRedsFan

      That site seems to place a high value on Lyon Richardson on the trades they propose. Not so sure he’s that valuable.

      Reply
      • Jason Franklin

        Agreed. Seems Richardson may be better as a reliever at this point? His walk rate is just awful.

      • Melvin

        Yep. That article agrees with you Jason. it would just be a rental probably so Richardson might get it done?

    • Jason Franklin

      Jansen/Cash for Lyon Richardson? Depending on how much cash they offer, then the Reds should make this trade. Jansen has pretty valuable experience. Not sure what would happen though with the rest of the bullpen. Who would shake out? Sims? I think Diaz would have to slide down to middle relief or possible setup (but Cruz is the wild card here). Cruz, honestly, could be the closer on the team if Diaz keeps having bad games. I think the Reds would rather save cash on relievers if they can at this point? But I would like to see Jansen (or some other experienced closer).

      Reply
      • Melvin

        They definitely like to save cash on the bullpen but that could be exactly where they need to spend it this year.

    • Mark Moore

      I’ve never been as impressed by Jansen as he is with himself. Just a gut feeling, not based on stats. And I tend to avoid the mega-stars.

      Reply
    • Votto4life

      I don’t get it. Boston has a better record than the Reds. They are only 1.5 games out of a WC spot. Why would they trade such a valuable bullpen arm?

      Reply
      • jmb

        Yes, Red Sox Nation will expect them to buy, not sell.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Two pretty evenly matched teams so 3-1 ain’t bad. We got 3 gift runs in the opener when the ump missed obvious strike 3 to Stephenson. So really all were close. I do think we’re def better if/when both are healthy.

    Good day off imo. We can drop 6-7 in a row as easy. Throw to the right base & be conservative on the bases when you need to be. Those things are what put us in the hole to begin with.

    Finally….we still badly need a righty thumper. CES? Let me get this straight….Reds cleared but he wants a second opinion? Reminds me of the old Rodney joke:

    My doctor says I’m in bad shape. I said I’d like a second opinion. He says “Ok, you’re ugly too”. No respect no respect I tell ya.

    Tells me CES doesn’t want to play baseball that badly? If I’m understanding this correctly?

    Reply
    • Melvin

      I’m a CES fan but I agree we could use a “righty thumper” as you say.

      Reply
      • jmb

        Like Ward and/or Adell? Both have as many homers as EDLC, who is tops on this team.

      • Melvin

        I think Ward would be much more likely than Adell. What do you think?

    • Harry Stoner

      It sounds like you’re not understanding this correctly.

      The man wants a second opinion on his return from a bone break in a complex part of the body that takes a lot of stress and strain when swinging a bat.

      He’s clearly focussed on his long term health and ability to come back from an injury…and it sounds like from a earlier injury as well which showed up.

      And to you, that means he doesn’t want to play baseball?

      Let me set this straight:

      That’s a very strange, uninformed and disrespectful point of view.

      Reply
      • Jason Franklin

        Exactly my thoughts. Seems like Indy is jumpring straight to the conclusions.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree with you Harry. Let’s not forget the guy had been playing with a previously undiagnosed (presumably healed) fracture in the same area which was found when the current fracture was diagnosed.

        We don’t know anything about the backstory on this old break. Did he report the injury and seek treatment for it ? Was he with the Reds organization at the time or was this before he joined the Reds or perhaps even back in his college days? Regardless, the player and his agent probably want an assessment from Docs not on a MLB team payroll if for no other reason than peace of mind going forward.

      • jmb

        Yes, let him get his second opinion. He’s not performing, anyway, so far this season.

    • Jason Franklin

      No, that doesn’t mean CES doesn’t want to play baseball. Why would you not get a second opininon? Have you seen how injuries kind of run rampant on this team at times? Plus it is wise to always get a second opinion. Don’t go dragging his name under the bus until you now why.

      Reply
    • Dennis Westrick

      I wouldn’t trust the Reds medical staff either based upon their track record! Can’t blame CES for wanting a 2nd, independent opinion! He has his whole career ahead of him!

      Reply
      • Indy Red Man

        How is the Reds staff so bad when players from all over the country go to Dr Tim whateverhisnameis? Kremchek?

      • Jim Walker

        @Indy, The Reds medical staff presumably clears a guy to start rehab which would be run by the team training staff. For all we do not know CES may have reservations about the training regimen and be seeking opinions about it.

      • Doc

        CES already had the second opinion per reports. Five additional days of rest, then resume rehab.

      • VaRedsFan

        Kremchek fixes the problems that have already happened. He’s not the trainer.

    • JayTheRed

      Loved Rodney in Back to School. That whole movie is great and good actors too!

      Reply
  9. Melvin

    Watching the A’s game today Rooker with another HR. Before the game today

    .269/.356/.884 With 12 HR and 39 RBI

    Reply
    • Jason Franklin

      I like him too, but I don’t think the team needs another guy who would probably punch out 200 times in a season. If they are going for a righty thumper, they need to get one who makes contact. Will that cost way more? Yes but as I have said before, you gotta pay up for the good stuff.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        Ks are more tolerable to me if a guy gets on base a lot.

      • Rob

        Strikeouts don’t particularly bother me. But I am totally with you on the trade target. Would like to see us aim high as we have the prospects to get a big bat. Minus the injuries Robert might be that guy. I see concerns about his 120 game seasons but I think I could deal with that if it was likely that I was going to get an all star for 120 games. We have depth pieces out the kazoo. We need the everyday #3 thru #5 hitter. Come on Nick. Hurtubise, Dunn, Martini, Capel, and Ford are not answers.

    • Jason Franklin

      I guess he kind of has that Adam Dunn sort of approach? Where would you bat Rooker?

      Reply
      • Melvin

        You’re right. Just looked and Rooker is 12th in Ks with EDLC and Benson being 1 & 2. May not be the best fit. lol

      • Melvin

        Looking at 2023 stats Rooker and Robert were tied with the 10th most Ks.

  10. Dennis Westrick

    Despite the loss, our Reds are still tied for 2nd in the NL Central AND tied for 3rd NL Wild Card spot!

    Reply
    • TR

      And three out of four, from the Reds division rival, is not bad, all things considered. Rarely, if ever, do teams win all the games.

      Reply
  11. Redsvol

    Stinker by montas. Great outing by spiers. I like him a lot. Nice development by the reds pitching staff.

    But even with an average mintas outing, not going to win many games with 5 hits at GABP. Cubs found an ace in imanaga. Unfortunate.

    Reply
  12. Melvin

    Mason Miller for the A’s pitching today. 1-2-3 Inning. Looks good. He would be a big help most likely.

    Reply
  13. Mauired

    Reds lineup with Stephenson:

    28-17 .622 winning percentage

    2-1 at DH
    26-16 Catcher

    Reds lineup without Stephenson:

    4-17 .190 winning percentage

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Not going to get any arguments out of me that he should be playing more. He did end up coming in the game today which means he probably would have had no problem being the DH especially with two days off this week. With two days off this week we should have had our BEST lineup today in my view to keep the momentum going.

      Reply
    • Mark A Verticchio

      This stat says all we need to know about Bell not being a top flight manager.

      Reply
    • DW

      Wow, that is quite telling. I think we all know this just by observation, but to see the actual numbers is crazy. Thank you for sharing. Great stuff.

      Reply
      • Mauired

        I know Stephenson missed 2-3 games when he was hit in the hand in Dallas. But it’s crazy to think. Reds are about one third through the schedule, and Bell has benched his best hitter by OPS nearly 20 times. This strategy has obviously back fired.

  14. Roger Garrett

    A real good lefty on Sunday with Stephenson watching along with 5 hits,11 punch outs,a base running blunder and Bell and the team satisfied with 3 out of 4 before the first pitch was thrown stopped the winning streak today.Throw away game on Sunday IMO.Reds had a chance for a rare 4 game sweep against a division foe and well failed to show up.Cubs are awful and we let them off the hook

    Reply
  15. Mark Moore

    I’ll echo my closing comment from the game thread …

    Stink. Fish. Pot!!!

    Catch you all Tuesday.

    Reply
  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    Season is now at crossroads with Reds, Cubs and Cards all tied for 2nd place and Pirates 1/2 game behind. Time to make smart decisions.

    Reply
  17. Jim Walker

    My nomination for at least 2nd place Key Moment is the decision to send Mantas to the mound to start the 2nd inning when Spiers was ready to go. That fourth run likely shaded many of the decisions the remainder of the game.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Yeah. I thought he should have been pulled earlier too under the circumstances.

      Reply
    • Optimist

      I wonder if they were thinking of the Ashcraft game – I commented then that it was a good bad start in that he gave up 4, and then shut the door. They came back to win. I think they were looking for the same from Montas, but the struggle continued in the second so they pulled the plug. As I also commented, how many times the past few years have we seen them get down 7 or 8 by the 5th inning, and have no chance to recover.

      The point, clearly, is to win, but they had their chances, and it really allowed Spiers to further his claim to a roster spot.

      Reply
    • Rob

      Only solid work by Spiers kept it from being 6-0 in the 2nd inning. The decision to remove a starting pitcher early is typically a tough call. We have all seen the 35 pitch first inning turn into 5 innings of decent work and bullpen salvation. This time it did feel a little differently though.

      I also thought the use of Spiers was an interesting choice with the off day on Monday and TBA on Tuesday. Martinez, Suter, and Farmer were all available for multiple innings. Seemed a little knee jerk, cannon fodder like to me. Almost like we are down 4-0 or 6-0 to Imanaga and let me save my better long inning guys for Tuesday. If the Reds offense didn’t perk up, then Spiers was going to be his guy for 5-6 innings for better or worse. The Reds offense failed but we are all rested and set for Tuesday.

      I am still hung up by this LHP lack of offense. There are some big RH bats available that are not the end all but offer much more offense than Espinal, Maile, and Dunn. Just don’t get it on why we wouldn’t grab one of these guys. Mets, Marlins, and Rockies are all 20 games out and going no where in 2024. They would love to trade for a couple valuable prospects. Or we can continue doing what we are doing and live with these 5-6 hit games.

      Reply
  18. Mauired

    Avisail Garcia was released by Miami. Still only 32. Maybe Reds could get him on a minor league deal to add depth.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Doesn’t look like he’s hit bad the last 7 games for whatever that’s worth.

      Reply
  19. Old Big Ed

    Tom Glavine found that pitching at Coors Field was more tiring than pitching anywhere else. He said he needed extra effort to make up for the fact that the breaking pitches didn’t behave at Coors like they did everywhere else. He had to finish his pitches harder, and he needed more recovery time. I noticed that Ashcraft was laboring with his breath in his start in Colorado.

    Neither Abbott or Montas was particularly sharp in the their start, on the 5th day after the Coors start. Abbott was able to power through it, but even then he gave up 5 hits and 4 BBs in 5 IPs. Montas could not power through it. However, Montas had a no-hitter into the 7th at Coors, so it isn’t like he’s fully stunk recently.

    I thought that they should have opened with Suter for either Martinez or Spiers on Saturday, then started Abbott on an extra day’s rest on Sunday. That would have moved Montas back to Tuesday. The starters were all going to get the benefit of the two off days, anyway, so the time to do the opener/bullpen game was against the Cubs.

    Coors Field is a wacky place, but that’s what analytics staffs are for.

    Reply
    • MBS

      @Old, Interesting points, and probably on point. All I have to add to the discourse is wow Spiers looked good! I am looking forward to seeing the 3 Montas, Abbott, and hopefully Spiers on their next turns through the rotation.

      Reply
  20. JA

    I just watch the first batter, then went out with the family

    For me Montas was clearly uncomfortable in the mound last Sunday against 1st batter, beyond “normal”

    He was sweeting way too much before that first pitch.

    I don´t know if some words from pitching coach or team player would have helped. and of course , it’s quite different appreciate it watching TV with close ups vs being on-field

    Reply

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