The Short Version: Leading 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Michael Lorenzen and the Reds snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as an Ian Happ home run gave Chicago a 5-2 win.
|Cincinnati Reds (67-93)||4||8||2|
|Chicago Cubs (91-69)||5||9||0|
|W: Duensing (1-1) L: Lorenzen (8-4) S: Grimm (1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Down 2-0 as the game headed to the fifth inning, Jesse Winker led off with a ground rule double and Jose Peraza singled him to third. Scott Schebler and Tucker Barnhart each singled, and the game was tied at 2.
After Robert Stephenson bunted into a double play, Phillip Ervin singled to left, scoring Barnhart. After a Zack Cozart walk, Joey Votto singled in Ervin and the Reds led 4-2.
–Votto was 2-4 with a double and an RBI; that was Votto’s 100th RBI of the season. It’s the third time in his career that Votto has topped the RBI century mark, and the first time since 2011.
–Winker — hitting fifth in the order — doubled, walked, and scored a run. Barnhart singled, walked, scored a run, and drove in another.
–Stephenson wasn’t efficient — once again — but he was fairly effective — once again. Bob Steve went five innings, throwing 83 pitches and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. Oddly, he didn’t strike out a batter, but no one really made hard contact against him either. Stephenson’s continued inability to throw a strike when he needs it is going to hamper his development if he can’t harness that command, but you can’t argue the fact that he has made great strides this season.
–Kevin Shackelford gave up a hit in a scoreless sixth inning, but struck out the side.
–That 4-2 Reds lead I referenced above lasted all the way until the bottom of the eighth inning. Amir Garrett was on the mound after pitching a scoreless seventh inning, and he surrendered a one-out single before he was removed in favor of Michael Lorenzen. Cubs 3B Taylor Davis greeted Lorenzen by squibbing one down the third base line for cheap infield single.
After Lorenzen struck out Kyle Schwarber, he was within one out of escaping the inning unharmed. That’s the precise moment when Ian Happ crushed a three-run homer to give Chicago a 5-4 lead.
–Votto and Eugenio Suarez each made uncharacteristic throwing errors.
–Votto’s fourth-inning double extended his on-base streak to 30 games. That’s the longest active streak in the majors.
In related news: Joey Votto is good.
–Is this season over yet?
— Steven Sharp (@TheStevenSharp) September 29, 2017
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.