The Reds have now won 3 out of 4 against NL Central competition and wins against the defending World Series champion Cubs have been particularly rare. The Reds are 22-19 at home. The Cubs are 40-40. Last year they were 51-29 after 80 games.
Scott Feldman pitched a wonderful game, limiting the Cubs lineup to 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. His breaking ball kept the Chicago hitters off balance all night. The Cubs were without several of their big bats, but seven shutout innings is still seven shutout innings.
Michael Lorenzen and Wandy Peralta handled the last two innings, finishing the 3-hit shutout.
The other key to the game was Adam Duvall’s 19th home run of the year, knocking in Zack Cozart and Joey Votto. It was a 356-foot opposite field shot. It gave the Reds a 3-0 lead that would have been 4-0 if Billy Hamilton hadn’t been thrown out at 3B trying to stretch a routine fly ball into a triple.
You can build your team around speed. Earl Weaver and I will build ours around getting on base and 3-run homers.
The Reds are the only team in the major leagues with three players with at least 19 home runs (h/t Jeff Wallner). Votto has 23 and Scott Schebler has 20.
Zack Cozart, hobbled by his quad muscle injury, had two hits and made a nice play in the field on a ground ball in the hole. It must hurt to plant his right leg to make a strong throw to first base. Joey Votto had two doubles. He’s hitting .311/.424/.622. His wRC+ is 165. Votto’s isolated power is 2nd in the NL to Dodger rookie phenom Cody Bellinger.
Dick Williams said before the game there is mutual interest in the club signing Cozart to an extension. While an extension may or may not be a good idea for the Reds, that statement doesn’t hurt Williams’ position in trade negotiations. On the other hand, the Reds renewed interest in Cozart may be genuine and related to watching Jose Peraza struggle in the field and at the plate.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.