|Cincinnati Reds (50-70)||2||8||0|
|Chicago Cubs (62-56)||1||7||0|
|W: Lorenzen (7-2) L: Strop (3-3) S: Iglesias (21)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Luis Castillo is very, very good. Tonight, Castillo twirled six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
I don’t know if Castillo or Raisel Iglesias is more enjoyable to watch on the mound, but I’m glad these guys are Cincinnati Reds.
–Joey Votto walked three times. Jesse Winker had two hits and a walk. Eugenio Suarez had a hit and a walk. Billy Hamilton had a couple of hits.
–As noted above, Votto reached base three times tonight. That is 20 straight games in which Votto has reached base 2 or more times, which ties him with Barry Bonds (2004) and Pete Rose (1979) for #2 in MLB history. Next up: Ted Williams, who reached base in 21 consecutive games in 1948.
–The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 8th on a Scooter Gennett sac fly that scored Votto. (Note: Scooter did not pitch tonight.) In the bottom half, Wandy Peralta entered to pitch and promptly walked the first two batters. After collecting the first out of the inning, Peralta was replaced by Raisel Iglesias.
As he often does, Iglesias put out the fire, preserving Cincinnati’s slim lead.
In the top of the 9th, the Reds doubled their lead when Hamilton singled Winker home.
–Hamilton stole his 50th base of the season tonight.
–Reds missed a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh. With the game still scoreless, Eugenio Suarez walked and Jesse Winker singled. Manager Bryan Price had Tucker Barnhart attempting to bunt, despite the fact that the pitcher’s spot and Billy Hamilton were the next two hitters.
Barnhart couldn’t get down a bunt and ultimately struck out swinging. With runners on first and third (Suarez advanced to third on a wild pitch), Price removed Castillo — who had been dominant, as noted above — in favor of pinch-hitter Patrick Kivlehan. Kivlehan struck out in a particularly ugly at-bat. Then Hamilton struck out, as well, for the third out. (Though, it must be noted that the third strike on Hamilton was a garbage call on a check swing.)
You know how I feel about Hamilton, but this was a perfect example of a situation where it harms the Reds to have Hamilton hitting leadoff. He should be batting eighth. Hamilton is a legitimate big league starter, but he’s not the guy you want getting more at-bats than anyone else in the lineup.
And Price has to know that.
–It’s always fun to beat the Cubs.
–That’s four consecutive quality starts for Castillo.
–Iglesias gave everyone a little scare in the bottom of the ninth. Okay, it was a pretty big scare — or at least as big a scare as we can get in this lost season.
With the Reds up 2-0, Iglesias surrendered singles to Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward. Fortunately, the Cubs handed the Reds a free out with a sacrifice bunt that moved the tying runs into scoring position.
Iglesias looked really good in striking out the final two hitters of the game, but it was tense for a moment there. Ultimately, however, it was Iglesias’ ninth save in which he recorded four or more outs. That’s tied for tops in the big leagues.
–Votto and Suarez are 1-2 in the National League in walks during the month of August. Votto has 21, while Suarez has 15.
–Speaking of walks, Suarez has 45 walks on 3-2 counts this season. That’s the best in baseball. What that shows me is Suarez’ ever-increasing command of the strike zone. This kid just keeps getting better and better.
–Only three National League players have hit 60+ homers and 180 RBI in the last two seasons: Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, Joey Votto, Adam Duvall.
–Game three of this four-game series will take place tomorrow night. Homer Bailey will pitch for the good guys.