The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart has done nothing but hit, hit, and hit some more this season, and he continued that tonight against the Cubs. After collecting 2 hits and a home run in the series opener last night, he followed it up with an even better performance tonight. He went 3 for 5 with a home run, 2 singles, and 2 RBI. Have a trophy Zack, and here’s to you keeping up this hot streak.
Honorable mentions go to: Adam Duvall, for going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and scoring a run; Eugenio Suarez, for going 1 for 4 with a 2-run double that brought the Reds back in the game; Billy Hamilton, for collecting his 20th stolen base on the season; and the bullpen work of Austin Brice, Drew Storen, Wandy Peralta, and Raisel Iglesias for combining to throw 5.1 innings of shutout baseball and giving the Reds a chance to claw their way back into the game.
- The Reds, as they did last night, got things started early. Billy Hamilton led off the game with a line-drive single to right and then promptly stole second. After said steal of second base, Zack Cozart grounded a single into right field that brought Hamilton around to score. Reds lead, 1-0.
- The Cubs got their run back in the bottom of the 2nd. After Ian Happ walked to lead off the inning, Ben Zobrist lined a single to right that moved Happ to 3rd. Addison Russell then came up and grounded into a fielder’s choice to short to score Happ and tie the game at 1. The Cubs’ threat didn’t stop there. After Miguel Montero walked to move Russell to 2nd, Kyle Hendricks would come up and strike out for the 2nd out of the inning. Scott Feldman would then have a fastball get away from him and hit Jon Jay in the head to load the bases. Thankfully, Jay immediately signaled that he was okay and was able to stay in the game. That brought up Kyle Schwarber, who lined an 0-2 pitch past Votto to bring in two more runs. Kris Bryant then came up and walked to load the bases again. Anthony Rizzo then came up and hit one straight at Jose Peraza
to end the inningthat went straight off his glove and allowed 2 more runners to score. Thankfully, the inning came to an end on an Ian Happ strikeout. Cubs lead, 5-1.
- The Reds were able to get back on the board in the top of the 3rd. Zack Cozart pulled a low and outside pitch to left field to lead off the inning with a solo dinger. Other than an Adam Duvall single and Scott Schebler walk, the Reds weren’t able to get anything else going in the inning. Cubs led, 5-2.
- The Cubs weren’t done in the bottom of the 3rd. Ben Zobrist led off and lined a double into left field for his 2nd hit of the day. After an Addison Russell strikeout, Miguel Montero came up and hit a fly ball to the warning track that would bounce off the glove of Adam Duvall to put guys on 2nd and 3rd. That brought up Kyle Hendricks, and with 2 strikes he laid down a perfect bunt for a squeeze that brought home Zobrist and moved Montero to 3rd. Jon Jay kept the rally going by grounding a single up the middle, which brought in Montero and ended Feldman’s night. Austin Brice was able to get Schwarber to ground out and end the inning, but the Cubs led 7-2.
- Things got quiet for a while after the 3rd, but the Reds chipped away at the lead in the top of the 7th. After 2 quick outs, Zack Cozart lined a single into center field and then moved to 2nd on a walk by Joey Votto. That brought up Adam Duvall, who hit a line drive to left to bring in Cozart. Eugenio Suarez followed up Duvall with a double to left-center to bring in Votto and Duvall. Scott Schebler grounded out to end the inning. Cubs led, 7-5.
- The Reds had the top of the order up in the top of the 9th but were unable to get anything going. Cubs win, 7-5.
- The wind certainly had an effect on this game, as Adam Duvall misplayed 2 balls in left field in the bottom of the 3rd that led to 2 runs. It also helped out the Reds in the top of the 3rd, according to this little fun fact from Statcast:
Zack Cozart's HR was hit 91 MPH at a 36 degree launch angle... That combination has never been a HR before and has been a hit 1% of the time pic.twitter.com/VzPmg8Lmno— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 18, 2017
- Speaking of Cozart, he became the 8th visiting player to hit a home run at Wrigley Field in 5 straight games. He will look to become the only player to do it in 6 straight games tomorrow.
- Scott Feldman certainly didn’t have his best stuff tonight, as he walked 3 and hit a batter in his short outing, but he also did’t get any help from his defense. The Reds misplayed at least 4 balls in the 2nd and 3rd inning that could have really limited some of the damage in the early portion of this game.
- Joey Votto looked to have an infield single in the bottom of the 9th, but it was overturned via replay, thus ending his 9-game hitting streak.
- To add insult to injury, I wasn’t able to turn off the tv before that stupid song that they play after every win came on. You know the one. So now that’s going to be stuck in my head all night.
- The Reds will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 PM ET. Amir Garrett will get the start in his return from Louisville and will face off against Jon Lester.