The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, odds were that there’d be some slugging going on between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. That was the case, though unfortunately the home squad did a bit more of it than our road warriors.
Joey Votto chipped in mightily, however, launching his 11th dinger of the season, singling, and walking on the evening, which was certainly the spearhead of an offense that just couldn’t quite overcome what the Cubs rolled out on their side.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tucker Barnhart, who dingered and walked; Zack Cozart, who did that, too, and added a single; Jose Peraza, who singled, doubled, and scored; and Billy Hamilton, who had a 2 for 5 outing.
- John Lackey hummed a 91 mph meatball for the first pitch Cozart saw on the evening, and the Cincinnati SS turned it around for a solo homer to start the scoring in the Top of the 1st. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Cubs punched back in the Bottom of the 1st, however. Kris Bryant coaxed a 1-out walk, and it haunted. Bryant motored around to 3B on a long single by Anthony Rizzo, and the bags were then juiced when Bronson walked Ian Happ. Jeimer Candelario then poked a single into RF to drive in Bryant, and after Addison Russell popped out, Wellington Castillo spanked a 2-run double into the ivy in CF that fortunately got stuck to limit the damage. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- Barnhart got the Reds back within one with a moonball homer well over the CF wall in the Top of the 2nd, but Kyle Schwarber matched it with a mammoth 462 foot solo shot of his own in the Bottom of the 2nd. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Cincinnati, uhh, “manufactured” a run in the Top of the 4th, with a bit of help from the Cubs themselves. Peraza lifted a double into CF right after Scott Schebler - who had singled - was picked off at 1B, and the Cincinnati 2B then moved to 3B on a productive groundout by Barnhart. That brought up Arroyo, who struck out, but the third strike pitch got past Castillo and ricocheted far enough off the brick wall behind home plate to allow Peraza to trot home. Reds trailed, 4-3.
- University of Cincinnati product Ian Happ put the Cubs ahead 5-3 in the Bottom of the 5th, adding to the dinger total with a solo shot of his own.
- Bryant netted the Cubs an additional run in the Bottom of the 6th off reliever Blake Wood, doubling into LF to score Tommy La Stella, who had singled in front of him. Wood eventually was tasked with intentionally walking Anthony Rizzo to load the bases and set up a potential double play, but that plan backfired when Wood ended his evening by walking Ian Happ to force in a run. Fortunately, Robert Stephenson took over and induced an inning-ending double play to escape further damage, but the Reds trailed, 7-3.
- The bullpen game got to Chicago in the Top of the 7th, too, as Votto blasted a 2-run shot off Koji Uehara after Hamilton had singled in front of him. Reds trailed, 7-5.
- Stephenson, however, still had some outs to record, and that became a slight issue when Russell smacked a solo homer off of him in the Bottom of the 7th. Reds trailed, 8-5.
- Michael Lorenzen got in on the bullpenning in the Bottom of the 8th, and he was greeted by a Rizzo dinger to put the Reds behind, 9-5.
- That wrapped the scoring, however, and the Reds fell for the fourth straight game, losing 9-5.
- Cozart’s 1st inning homer marked the 4th consecutive game in Wrigley in which he’s homered, the first such time that’s happened from an opposing player since Albert Pujols back in 2007. That’s some damn fine company.
- Speaking of said homer, Cozart’s was certainly crushed, but the wind in this one was blowing hard, and blowing straight out, too. Not exactly the ideal setting for any pitcher, much less those of the homer-prone variety.
- Wednesday will see Scott Feldman start for Cincinnati, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks. First pitch at Wrigley is set for 8:05 PM ET, and we’ll be coverin’-a-fool for it.