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Javy Baez homers twice as Chicago Cubs thump Cincinnati Reds 8-5

That’s four losses in a row for the Reds.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Nick Castellanos has quietly been just fine as a member of the heart of the Cincinnati Reds order so far. Nothing too flashy or splashy entering play on Tuesday, but hits in every game, at least.

Tuesday saw him finally park a big fly in the seats, however, and he did it against the last club for whom he played prior to signing with the Reds - the Chicago Cubs. That’s nice.

Castellanos added a double as part of his two-ribbie evening, and while it wasn’t enough to carry the entire Reds offense on his back, it was certainly a promising outing, one that hopefully portends better news in the very near future.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Curt Casali, who bashed a dinger; Freddy Galvis, who parked one, too; and Pedro Strop, who sat down a pair of former teammates while not allowing a run as a bullpen arm (which is a trait that becoming increasingly important).

Key Plays

  • Y’know how it’s nice to catch a break here and there when things aren’t going your way? Well, that sure as hell didn’t happen to the Reds in the Top of the 3rd. An otherwise routine fly-ball off the bat of Jason Kipnis was lifted into CF, but because of the sun - thanks for the 6:40 PM start time, Reds - Shogo Akiyama lost the ball, and it dropped in for a leadoff ‘triple.’ Kipnis then scored on a Nico Hoerner single into RF, and the Reds trailed 1-0.
  • Kipnis bit the Reds in his own right in the Top of the 4th, when the single he belted into RF scored Jason Heyward, who had earlier singled and gone 1B to 3B on a David Bote single up the middle. Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • Castellanos did the dirty work of setting the Reds straight in the Bottom of the 4th, however. After Alec Mills walked Jesse Winker with 2-outs, Nick spanked a Mills meatball the other way, driving a 2-run blast over the RF wall for his first big fly as a Red. Game tied, 2-2.
  • Cody Reed took over for the Top of the 5th, but was bitten by the meat of the Cubs order after retiring his first pair of batters. Javy Baez belted a double to the wall in CF, and he managed to just squeak under a tag at home after Kyle Schwarber, who is from Middletown, dumped a single into LF - the throw from Aristides Aquino was perfect, just a hair late. Reds trailed, 3-2.
  • As it turns out, walks will haunt. Reed stayed on to face the lefty Heyward to open the Top of the 6th, and walked him. Pedro Strop took over, and a subsequent walk and fielder’s choice got Heyward to 3B, and he scored on Hoerner’s sac-fly to CF. Reds trailed, 4-2.
  • Baez turned on an Amir Garrett clunker for a solo blast in the Top of the 7th to put the Reds in an even deeper 5-2 hole.
  • Casali turned on a Casey Sadler cheese-puff in the Bottom of the 8th, and belted it into the LF seats for a solo shot that inched the Reds back into the realm of possibility.
  • Ha ha ha ha, ‘realm of possibility’ my ass. Michael Lorenzen took over for the Top of the 9th and served up a meatball again to Baez, who pounded it for a 2-run blast over the CF wall to put the Reds on ice for good. Reds trailed, 8-3.
  • Galvis’ blast got those two runs back in the Bottom of the 9th, as he spanked a Ryan Tepera pitch over the RF wall after Aquino had coaxed a 2-out walk, but that was all they could muster. Reds lose again, 8-5.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Tyler Mahle’s final line wasn’t terribly impressive (4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K on 69 pitches), but again, it didn’t truly reflect completely how he looked. He largely pounded the zone, hit 96 mph with his fastball, and even a few of the non-sun-impacted hits he allowed weren’t exactly clobbered. Not bad as a fill-in.
  • The Reds are in last place. Again.
  • Christian Colon pinch hit for Jesse Winker tonight. I’ve got questions.
  • It’s another 6:40 PM ET start time for the Cubs and Reds on Wednesday, so look forward to more talk about the sun and shenanigans. Kyle Hendricks will toe the rubber for Chicago, while Sonny Gray will look to replicate his Opening Day excellence as Cincinnati’s starter.
  • Tunes.