After a rough game against a really good Sonny Gray Tuesday night, the Cubs were due to get back in the saddle against the Reds and mediocre starter Tyler Mahle. Right? Someone forgot to tell the Cubs, because other than a sac fly from Kyle Schwarber and bomb from Willson Contreras, nobody else did a whole lot and the Reds pulled out a 3-2 win in 10 innings in their last game at Wrigley Field this season.
Scoreless heading into the 4th inning, Cub-killer Eugenio Suárez got the scoring started with a 409 foot bomb to center off of Jon Lester. The Cubs struck back, as Nick Castellanos doubled and eventually scored the Schwarber sac fly to knot the game up at 1-1. While Castellanos got lucky on an El Mago swim move stretching a double, the Cubs weren’t so lucky with two earlier gaffes that cost them runners and outs in a tight game. That’s sorta been an ongoing problem for the Cubs this year, so no surprise it’s continuing into September.
Jon Lester ran into trouble in the 6th inning and was pulled early by Joe Maddon, but David Phelps worked his way out of the jam with no issue and preserved the tie. Pedro Strop and Kyle Ryan weren’t so lucky in the 7th, as Strop allowed the first two men before recording an out. Maddon then summoned Ryan, who walked Jose Peraza before giving up a sac fly to Alex Blandino to give the Reds the lead at 2-1.
Listless for most of the game, the Cubs were seemingly bailed out when Willson Contreras energized the crowd with a home run to left center field. Unfortunately, the Cubs could get nothing going against Sal Romano and Amir Garrett in the 9th inning, after Jose Iglesias double in the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
When you collect only three hits the night after you collect five, it’s gonna be tough to win. After scoring 47 over the weekend against the Pirates, the offense seems to have forgotten how to hit.
After getting the best two hitters in the Reds lineup to make outs to start the top of the 10th, a single, walk, and double put Cincy up for good at 3-2.
Stats That Matter
- Lester threw just 77 pitches to get through five innings, but was lifted after allowing two quick baserunners in the 6th, he was. Is there a stat for number of seconds scowling while a manager walks out to lift you?
- Cubs pitchers went 10 innings in this one and gave up only three runs. That should be good enough to win most games.
- The offense disappeared for a second straight game, putting up just four hits in 32 at-bats. That’s just not going to get it done, especially against the Reds and a guy who had a 5+ ERA.
- Schwarber added another RBI early in this one as he drove in Castellanos with a sac fly. He now has 91 on the season.
With the Cardinals winning, the Cubs fell three games behind the Redbirds in advance of their huge four game set at Wrigley. They’re going to have to win at least three out of four if they want to have a chance at the Central crown down the stretch.
The Cubs continue their last homestand of the year with their most important series of the year, a four-game set against the Cardinals that will go a long way in determining the division and Wild Card. Kyle Hendricks gets the ball and will face Cards righty Jack Flaherty. Game time is a bit early at 6:15pm CT because the game will be televised on FOX, with 670 The Score on the radio as always