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Yu Darvish brilliant, Reds fall to Cubs 5-2 to lose series

The anemic offense spoiled a largely excellent start by Sonny Gray

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Sonny Gray has been on some kind of roll for the Cincinnati Reds, one that even landed him on the National League All Star team. That continued today against the Chicago Cubs, as he allowed just 2 hits in his 6 IP.

Unfortunately, both of those hits were solo dingers on a day when the Cincinnati offense was utterly, completely inept. Still, his final line was quite impressive: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K on an efficient 85 pitches, lowering his season ERA to a tidy 3.40 in the process.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Nick Senzel, who singled, doubled, and drove in a run (while also chipping in with a TOOTBLAN at the plate); and Jose Peraza, who scored after his pinch-hit double.

Key Plays

  • Sonny hummed a meatball to Kris Bryant in the Bottom of the 1st. Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • Sonny hummed a meatball to asshole Addison Russell in the Bottom of the 2nd. Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • The Reds threatened to threaten against the Chicago bullpen in the Top of the 7th, eventually getting runners to 1B and 2B with just 1-out. Alas, a fly-out and an epic TOOTBLAN by Jose Iglesias - getting picked off 1B on a throw-down from catcher Victor Caratini - ended that threat.
  • The Cubs, though, were not yet done scoring, namely because they got to face David Hernandez. He walked the first two batters he faced to start the Bottom of the 7th, and both later scored on a 2-ribbie double by Jason Heyward before David Bell pulled the plug in favor of Matt Bowman. Reds trailed, 4-0.
  • For the record, Jose Peraza was at the plate when Iglesias was picked off 1B to end the Top of the 7th, and when he was back in the batter’s box to start the Top of the 8th he smacked a double down the RF line. Sure, that would have been nice with a pair of runners on, but I digress. Anyhoo, Senzel then singled into RF to score him and get the Reds on the board, and Nick then scooted home after an RBI single from Yasiel Puig (which followed an Eugenio Suarez single). Reds trailed, 4-2.
  • Bowman allowed singles to Javy Baez and Kris Bryant before exiting in the Bottom of the 8th, with Michael Lorenzen - who was in CF - moving to the mound to face Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo squibbed one to the left side of the infield and it appeared to take a bad hop over the glove of Suarez, and that brought in Baez. That left the score 5-2, which is how things finished.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch in the Top of the 5th. This time, though, it was right on his kneecap instead of his elbow pad, and he exited the game in clear pain after initially trying to stay in and run the bases. He now has a league-leading 21 HBP so far this year (against 19 dingers, 18 singles, and 23 walks).
  • Nick Senzel also exited this one late, as he was seen grimacing after scoring the run in the 8th. He had fouled a ball off his left foot in his final PA, and perhaps that was the cause, though Jim Day mentioned on the broadcast that he was holding his hamstring (which the replay didn’t show, but whatever). Gahhhhhhh.
  • Prior to the start of this one, Raisel Iglesias was placed on the paternity list, while Juan Graterol - whose single in the Top of the 5th broke up the would-be no-hitter - had his contract purchased from AAA Louisville. In related bullpen news, Amir Garrett threw live BP and looked great, meaning hopefully he can bolster the depleted ‘pen as early as tomorrow.
  • It’s back home for the Reds this afternoon, and on Thursday they’ll open another vital series against an NL Central rival in their race to stay relevant in 2019. It’ll be the St. Louis Cardinals on the docket, and they’ll be sending Dakota Hudson to the mound to start the opener of this 4-game set. The Reds, meanwhile, will counter with Tanner Roark. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.