The Short Version: Jim Riggleman’s Cincinnati Reds bungle and bunt their way to another come-from-ahead loss and drop a series to the Cubs that they easily could have swept. Baseball is fun!
|Final — 10 innings||R||H||E|
|Cincinnati Reds (39-51)||5||8||2|
|Chicago Cubs (51-36)||6||11||2|
|W: Farrell (3-3) L: Stephens (2-2)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Jose Peraza had two hits, a walk, and an RBI. Eugenio Suarez was 2-4 with a homer. Billy Hamilton walked, doubled, scored two runs, and stole two bases. Adam Duvall homered.
–David Hernandez and Jared Hughes pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, though Hughes had to escape some trouble in the bottom of the ninth.
–I can’t catalogue all the terrible defense, dumb plays, and horrible strategy that we witnessed today. But here’s a peek:
–The Reds gave up the lead in the bottom of the seventh in an embarrassing display. The Cubs tied the score on a single up the middle (on a ball that Peraza probably should have been able to knock down). Multiple Reds were caught unawares: Hamilton just lobbed the ball back into Scooter Gennett, who seemed unconcerned that a runner was actually trying to run the bases. His throw home was too late, and the Reds had handed the lead back to the home team. Just awful.
–Jim Riggleman is not a very good in-game tactician.* In the eighth, with the Reds down by one, Jose Peraza led off with a walk. He promptly stole second base. Tying run on second, no outs, heart of the order coming to the plate. Good situation, right?
No, Riggleman has Tucker Barnhart bunting, and as you might expect, the Cubs cut down Peraza at third base, and the Reds failed to score even a single run. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.
*Understatement of the century.
–In the bottom of the tenth, Jackson Stephens walked the first hitter, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. After collecting one out, Stephens issued an intentional walk. Addison Russell then grounded weakly to Joey Votto at first for the second out of the inning…but no! Votto nonchalantly shifted the ball from his glove to his throwing hand, and bobbled it. Before stepping on first base. A very sloppy E-3, which loaded the bases with one away.
At this point, the game was moving way too fast for Riggleman, as Steve noted. He let a pitch go by to the next hitter before deciding to move Adam Duvall into the infield to attempt to prevent the winning run. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.
But it didn’t matter anyway. Stephens walked home the winning run. Meanwhile, Raisel Iglesias never got off the bench. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.
–The Reds easily could have swept this series. Instead, they lost two out of three. That was some really ugly baseball the last couple of days.
–Luis Castillo gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in four innings of work.
–Dilson Herrera made his Reds debut as a pinch-runner in the top of the eighth inning.
–The Reds were down 2-0 as the game entered the third, but the good guys got one run back when Billy Hamilton doubled, stole third, and scored on Jose Peraza’s RBI single.
–Cincinnati grabbed the lead one inning later. Joey Votto walked with one out and scored on Eugenio Suarez’ 19th home run of the season.
–After Chicago tied the game up, the Reds scored on some Billy Ball. Hamilton walked, stole second base and scored on two errors by the Cubs (one on the throw from the catcher that sailed into center field, and one on the center fielder).
–After the Reds gave up the lead in embarrassing fashion (see above), things were looking grim. But Adam Duvall hit a mammoth home run in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
Suarez now has an OPS of 1.000 and wRC+ of 164. Wow.
— Nick Carrington (@ncarrington14) July 8, 2018
Stop. Bunting. Please.
— Mo Egger (@MoEgger1530) July 8, 2018
"That'll advance the tying run to second base." — Jim Day
Yeah, the Reds had the tying run at second base two outs ago, too. Before the bunting shenanigans.
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) July 8, 2018
At least Iglesias will be rested and ready for a save situation tomorrow.
— Mo Egger (@MoEgger1530) July 8, 2018
The Reds should already be on the plane with a sweep of the Cubs, but they've done everything they could to lose the last two games. Baseball is a funny game.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) July 8, 2018
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.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.