The Cubs battled back to tie the game in the 8th but had some bad luck in the top of the 9th and Joey Votto hit a go ahead 3-run HR to put the Reds ahead for a 7-4 win.
The Cubs’ power bats were on display today, hitting 3 HRs to account for all 4 of their runs with Tommy La Stella, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant all getting in on the action.
Tommy La Stella got the Cubs on the board with a solo shot to right for his 1st Cubs’ HR. He also made some good defensive plays at 2nd, including a diving stop to his left in the top of the 9th on a ground ball ticketed for right field.
Anthony Rizzo tied things up in 5th with a solo shot of his own (his 27th HR and 79th RBI) to just left of CF. He has really been scuffling as of late, so it was good to see him smack one out today; he also added an infield single that only went about 10 feet from home plate.
Kris Bryant had the biggest HR though with a 2-out, 2-run, game-tying HR to LF in the bottom of the 8th. It was his 22nd HR and team leading 82nd RBI of the year to go with his .269 AVG. He did commit a huge error (his 16th) in the top of the 9th that set the stage for the Joey Votto 3-run HR, but it was a smash off the bat and it just went through the wickets.
Austin Jackson got the start in RF today with Chris Coghlan moving to LF for Kyle Schwarber, who was removed from the lineup with sore ribs. Jackson had some nice ABs and went 2 for 4 with a double and a single to RF in his first start.
Jason Hammel got hit hard pretty much the entire day and even his outs were rockets. He only made it through 5 innings and gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 7 hits (1 HR) and 0 walks with 4 Ks. At this point I don’t know if the Cubs could depend on him if they made the playoffs and actually got into a series. Dan Haren does a better job of keeping the team in the game during his starts.
Hector Rondon wasn’t bad, but his luck sure was today. He gave up 3 runs (all unearned) on 3 hits (1 HR by Votto) and no walks. The real turning point was an infield single from Bourgeois with 2 outs that allowed Jay Bruce to come to the plate and that is when Kris Bryant made his error to extend the inning for Votto.
The Cubs will have tomorrow off before welcoming the D-Backs to Wrigley for 3 games this weekend. Game 1 will start on Friday at 1:20 PM (CST) on CSN and the MLB Network. Jon Lester (8-10, 3.59) will get the start for the Cubs as they try to right the ship after a bad week in a half. Former Cubs farmhand Zack Godley (4-0, 1.90) will get the ball for the D-Backs.