The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary What the Living Hell Was That of the Game
In a game that saw a benches-clearing ‘argument,’ ejections, incredibly biased ejections that leaned very heavily towards the Chicago Cubs benefit, and an eventual walk-off wild pitch, I don’t have any clue who the hell this goes to.
Joey Votto and Jesse Winker homered, and then were ejected in somewhat stupid fashion.
Nick Castellanos scored the game-winner against his former club.
Nate Jones threw rocks in a huge scenario, and Joel Kuhnel did in his return, too.
Aristides Aquino picked up the club with a huge RBI single in the Bottom of the 7th.
What a game, man. What a game.
- The game’s first batter was Ian Happ. Ian happened. A hanging breaking ball from Tejay Antone on the inside of the plate was lifted for a towering fly ball, one that GABP rewarded as a homer as it just cleared the fence in the RF corner, hitting the base of the foul pole for a solo dinger. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Leadoff dinger-sockin’ was the theme of this one, fortunately, as Votto teed-off on an Alec Mills offering to open the Bottom of the 1st, leveling the score with a mash into the RF seats. Game tied, 1-1.
- Mills hummed a meatball to Casali to begin the Bottom of the 3rd, and the Reds catcher did not miss, pounding it into the LF seats to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. The inning was not done, however, as Nick Castellanos later stroked a single into RF before Winker mauled a ball into the RF stands for a 2-run bonk, one that put the Reds ahead, 4-1.
- Tejay Antone had a pitch fly out of his hand in a 4th inning PA against Anthony Rizzo, and it flew up and over Rizzo’s head. Antone immediately looked at his hand after the ball left his hand, but the Cubs took exception to it, likely due to the fact that Rizzo has beaten the pants off Reds pitching all series. An argument ensued, with Cubs manager David Ross and pitching coach [insert name here if you care] both ejected. Anyway, Rizzo eventually walked and was replaced on the bases by Willson Contreras via a fielder’s choice, and all that came in front of David Bote, who deeeestroyed an Antone mistake for a mammoth 2-run blast into the second deck in LF. Reds led, 4-3.
- The next inning saw the Cubs hum a pitch up and in to Shogo Akiyama, and chaos erupted as the umpires twiddled their thumbs too long. Both benches and bullpens came onto the field, and after a five minute shouting match, somehow only Reds got ejected - Votto, Winker, and manager David Bell. You can watch that here, thanks to the good folks at FS-Ohio.
- After the dust settled, we were back to action in the Top of the 5th with Michael Lorenzen on the mound. Nico Hoerner lifted a fly ball into RF that Nick Castellanos completely booted, and that resulted in a two-base error. That burned later when Ian Happ dumped a single into LF to drive in a run, and the game was tied, 4-4.
- Tyler Thornburg took over for the 6th and went single -> walk -> wild pitch to move up the runners -> walk before exiting without retiring a batter, and that was awesome in a tied, 7 inning game. Nate Jones took over and performed a near miracle to escape huge damage, but a sac fly did plate a run and give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.
- Fortunately, Craig Kimbrel has continued to struggle as the Cubs closer, and it benefited the Reds in the Bottom of the 9th. A walk to Casali started things, and Freddy Galvis was put in as a pinch-runner in a shrewd move. A later walk to Castellanos put Freddy in scoring position, which he took advantage of on Aquino’s bloop single into CF to tie the game. Kimbrel then walked Eugenio Suarez to load the bags and set up a potential double play, but that backfired tremendously when Kimbrel fired a wild pitch to allow the winning run to score. Reds won a wild one, 6-5!
- Sunday’s contest will wrap this condensed series, and we’ll see Luis Castillo toe the rubber for the Reds. He’ll be opposed by Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood, with first pitch set for 1:10 PM ET.\
- Both Votto and Winker got ejected alongside David Bell in a kerfluffle that cost the Reds their lead, and the likely suspensions that will result for involved parties instigating a benches-clearing fracas in the midst of pandemic that has already cost the Cincinnati Reds multiple players and games this year will only tack on to that. Fortunately, the Reds managed to dig themselves out of the mess tonight, but I’m worried we’ll see some residual impact down the road.