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Javier Baez blasts 15th inning grand slam, Cubs beat Reds 7-2


David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

John Lamb entered Tuesday's tussle with the Chicago Cubs on a rather solid streak of starts, having pitched to a solid 3.10 ERA in 29 IP (5 GS) since the beginning of June.  That run of production continued, as Lamb allowed just 2 ER in 6 IP against the best team in baseball, striking out 7 against a lone walk in a dang fine all-around performance.

There are sexier pitching prospects than Lamb, but he's shown he can be a pretty damn effective starter for this club when healthy and in form.  That's a dang solid asset to have, one that should have him sticking around as a cog for the next few seasons.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Billy Hamilton, who whacked a dinger off Jon Lester; Brandon Phillips, who blooped a jam-shot single into CF for a real, live, actual hit - and then was plunked in the Top of the 9th by a real, live, actual hit by pitch; the stomachs of all in attendance, as the Reds and their 11 Ks netted them free La Rosa's pizza; local toilet paper salespeople, for reasons already listed; and the trio of Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, Josh Smith, and Blake Wood, who combined to throw 5 IP 6 IP 7 IP 8 IP of scoreless, hitless ball from the bullpen.

Key Plays

  • Ben Zobrist was the first batter of the game.  Ben Zobrist smacked a homer in his first trip to the plate.  Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • In the Top of the 5th, Matt Szczur doubled to the wall in LF, and he scored two batters later when Lester himself szczingled up the middle past a backhanded attempt by Lamb to drive in the run. Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • Hamilton's dinger in the Bottom of the 8th halved the lead, and the Phillips being plunked in the Bottom of the 9th spurred the Reds to an equalizer.  BP took 1B after a fastball to the chest, and then moved to 2B on a single by Jay Bruce.  Adam Duvall then struck out looking on a ball several inches out of the zone (yawn, #umpshow), but Eugenio Suarez then came through with a single off Hector Rondon to drive in Phillips and level the score.  Game tied, 2-2.
  • Fast forward slow forward to the Top of the 15th - ugh - and the Cubs finally pushed a run across the board on an RBI single by Kris Bryant after JJ Hoover walked Zobrist - which haunted - with 1-out.  I suppose the haunting was in jest in the greater picture, since Hoover then walked another guy, loaded the bases, and then served up a grand slam to Javier Baez.  Reds lost in 15 seemingly endless, painful, no good, very bad innings, 7-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Joey Votto went 0 for 6.  I'm not sure I ever expected to see that happen.
  • Joe Maddon alternated between Travis Wood and Spencer Patton as pitchers and/or left fielders in the Bottom of the 14th, something I'm not sure I've ever witnessed before.  Fuck the DH, by the way, and well played, Maddon.
  • Hamilton entered Tuesday's contest against Lester and the Cubs with a 5 for 7 career mark against the lefty that included a double and a dinger.  So yeah, Hamilton now has 13 career dingers, and two of them have come against one of the better pitchers of this era.  YCPB.
  • Iglesias touched 96 mph with his fastball, according to the FS-Ohio radar gun.
  • It's a matinee tomorrow, as the Cubs and Reds will clash beginning at 12:35 PM ET.  Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound for Chicago, and he'll be opposed by hot dang right Cody Reed.  Tune in, since Cody Reed is the Reds future.  He's your future.  He's our future.  He IS the future.
  • Tunes.