|Chicago Cubs (63-53)
|Cincinnati Reds (55-59)
|W: Bauer (10-8) L: Darvish (4-6) S: Iglesias (23)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds used the long ball and outstanding starting pitching to take another game from the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. The fans wound up with souvenirs and free pizza. Oh, and a win, which is way more important.
After the Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, it wasn’t long before the Reds took their swings and grabbed the lead. Josh VanMeter, who finally got another start, led off the second inning with a double. Aristides Aquino followed up with a home run to right center to put Cincinnati out front. It was a lead they’d never give up.
Fast forward to the fourth inning and the Reds extended their lead on a solo home run by Eugenio Suarez. Cincinnati’s third baseman cracked his 31st of the year way into the upper deck and into one of the tunnels. The fan who wound up with the ball? Yeah, he was wearing a Suarez jersey. Two innings later it was Joey Votto’s turn to join the home-run parade. The Reds first baseman smashed his 12 of the season to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 4-1.
In the next inning Nick Senzel did what he does: He hit a ground ball to third base and then he sprinted as hard as he could to first base. And using his plus speed he beat the throw from a diving Kris Bryant to the bag in a bang-bang play. That proved to be important because after advancing to second base on a ground out he would score on a bloop single by Jose Peraza to make it a 5-1 game.
Trevor Bauer was making his home debut. Things didn’t start out great as Nicholas Castellanos used his National League magic to homer yet again off of the Reds in the top of the 1st inning. That would be the only run that Bauer would allow in the game. The newest Reds pitcher also got the fans at the ballpark a free pizza all by himself as he struck out 11 batters in his 7.0 innings while giving up just three hits and walking two batters.
But when Bauer left the game, holding onto a 5-1 lead, that’s when things got dicey. Michael Lorenzen entered the game for the 8th and struggled to find the strikezone. He walked the first two batters he faced and then saw Kris Bryant single into center to load the bases. That was all he was allowed to do as the Reds went to Amir Garrett out of the bullpen. He came on to face the left-handed hitting Anthony Rizzo, but saw a breaking ball get away from him and plunked the Cubs first baseman to bring in a run and make it a 5-2 game. The bases were still loaded and there were still no outs. But there’s a reason Garrett’s nickname is Count on AG for Players Weekend: You can count on him. And he came through. He sandwiched a strikeout between two ground outs and shut the Cubs down and held onto the 5-2 lead.
For the ninth inning David Bell and Derek Johnson turned to Raisel Iglesias to seal the win. The first two outs came quick and easy as he got Victor Caratini to ground out to Josh VanMeter at second base and then struck out Jonathan Lucroy on four pitches. But Iglesias fell behind Jason Heyward before giving up a double an a 2-0 pitch. That’s when newest Reds killer Nicholas Castellanos came to the plate. Not this time. Not this night. Iglesias shut it down and got him to pop up to Joey Votto to end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
Eugenio Suarez has now hit eight home runs this season that have gone 425+ feet. That’s very impressive.
Aristides Aquino is now tied with four other players in Reds history for most home runs through their first nine games as a Red with four. He joins legends Ron Northey (1950), Brian R. Hunter (1994), Ron Gant (1995), and Corey Patterson (2008). This one was from Elias, via the Reds media relations department. For Aquino his hot start this season has his OPS at 1.398 currently. If he continues at this pace he might be a keeper.
The Reds are now only 4.0 games out of the final playoff spot. This is way better, and way more fun that whatever the heck has been happening in the last four seasons.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday August 10th, 7:10pm ET
Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.06 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.25 ERA)