The Cubs hoped to finally stop the bleeding Saturday afternoon against the Reds at the Great American Ballpark. They grabbed an early lead, but they failed to build on it yet again and Cincinnati was able to come back and hand Chicago their eighth straight defeat.
Rafael Ortega was the unlikely source of the Cubs’ first run on Saturday as he doubled and scored on a wild pitch to give his team a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. Kris Bryant would double the lead with a solo home run off of starter Tyler Mahle in the 3rd inning.
Adbert Alzolay pitched a very good game on Saturday and kept the Reds silent the first three innings. Joey Votto struck for a home run to cut the lead in half in the 4th inning. Then Tyler Naquin tied the game in the following inning when he also went deep.
The Cubs squandered numerous scoring chances the next few innings and the score remained knotted up at two. The Reds would take the lead in the bottom of the 7th when Eugenio Suárez hit an RBI single to right field.
Chicago’s bats could not answer back against a shaky Cincinnati bullpen and they dropped another one-run defeat. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Things really are a broken record at this point with the Cubs, they just cannot get big hits with men on base. As Chicago stranded numerous runners throughout the game.
The Cubs got runners on first and third with nobody out in the top of the 7th inning. Javy Báez popped out to second base and Anthony Rizzo hit into a double play to erase the threat and keep the game tied.
Stats That Matter
- Alzolay deserved a better fate as he pitched quite well despite continued issues with the long ball: 7 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 6 K, and 1 BB.
- Willson Contreras reached base three more times (2B and 2 BB) as he continues to get a little warm at the plate.
- It was a rough game for Jason Heyward, who stranded six men at the plate and struck out twice. It’s getting pretty hard to justify him being in the lineup as much as he is right now.
The Cubs are in a full-fledged meltdown right now and it doesn’t seem like there’s a way out anytime soon. The offense seems to be, as Theo Epstein once put it, completely broken and internal solutions don’t seem to be readily available.