|Cincinnati Reds (38-38)||3||5||1|
|Chicago Cubs (32-43)||7||6||0|
|W: Arrieta (4-1) L: Bailey (7-4)|
|Fangraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
J.J. Hoover did a nice job relieving Bailey in the sixth inning, inducing two routine fly balls. Jumbo Diaz, in his second Major League appearance, retired the Cubs in order, striking out two. Jumbo’s fastball hit 98 mph.
The Reds scored a couple in the seventh inning as Billy Hamilton singled (12 game hitting streak) and went to second on Joey Votto’s ground ball. With two outs, Devin the Destroyer singled in Hamilton and Jay Bruce doubled in the Hot Mes.
Devin Mesoraco tied a Reds’ franchise record in the ninth inning by blasting a home run for his fifth consecutive game. Other’s who have done it: Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr., Ted Kluszewski, George Crowe, and Adam Dunn. Hope Devin stays in the clean-up spot. OPS now 1.054.
The Reds offense was stymied by Jake Arrieta without a hit or walk through the first six innings. They scored a couple runs in the seventh, but failed to score after that. Four hits and one walk generally doesn’t get it done. Hard to complain too much about the hitting, given the streak they’ve been on lately.
Homer Bailey had only thrown one bad pitch through four innings, a first-pitch curveball to Anthony Rizzo. (If Rizzo hit against the Reds every game, he’d break all the records.) In the sixth inning Bailey walked the pitcher, gave up a single and then walked Junior Lake. On an 0-2 pitch he hit Starling Castro on the hand, forcing in a run.
Hard to say it cost them the game since the odds of coming back two runs behind are steep (6%), but Joey Votto’s brutal error in the bottom of the eighth allowed two runs to score, boosting the Cubs’ lead from two to four or five runs. He let a fairly routine ground ball go between his legs. It’s safe to say that the fundamentals of Votto’s defense has suffered since his Gold Glove year.
Not so random thoughts
Jake Arrieta had a perfect game going through six innings. It was broken up by a hard ground ball single up the middle by Billy Hamilton. The last no-hitter by a Cubs pitcher was thrown by Carlos Zambrano against Houston in 2005. It was played in Milwaukee due to Hurricane Katrina.
This is the first time Homer Bailey lost to the Cubs since 2010 and the first time the Reds lost one of his starts against the Cubs in more than three years, stretching over ten starts.
For those of you worried about Jay Bruce, relax. Remember, he was hurt the first month and had *surgery* on his knee. Bruce’s season-long numbers have suffered because of that slow start. But he has not only hit well in the month of June (.277/.337/.534, not counting tonight), he’s hit better than his career average (.255/.329/.476). If you don’t understand that Bruce is thoughtfully improving as a hitter, you’ve probably been listening to a certain Reds broadcaster, who once again, is spreading ignorance.
Richard Fitch pointed out on Twitter that facing bases loaded in the eighth inning with one out might be a good time to bring in a pitcher who has a high strikeout rate.