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Hapless Reds blow early lead in 8-5 loss to Cubs

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Same story, different day.

New York Yankees v Cincinnati Reds

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Tyler Stephenson got his first career big league start behind the plate in this one, and he did this to a would-be stealing Billy Hamilton:

Hot diggity dang.

The catcher of the future for the Cincinnati Reds later added an arby-eye single, and on a night when the frustration of watching the 2020 Reds attempt to do anything forthright bubbled over, at least we got a glimpse of what we can look forward to going forward.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Shogo Akiyama, who singled, walked twice, drove in a run, and scored; and Robert Stephenson, who tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.

Key Plays

  • The Reds wasted little time in getting runs on the board in this one. Joey Votto opened the Top of the 1st with a single, and he scored a batter later on a triple by Castellanos. Jesse Winker then lifted a sac fly deep enough to plate Castellanos, and the Reds were up early, 2-0.
  • Shogo Akiyama coaxed a leadoff walk off Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay to begin the Top of the 2nd, and after he swiped 2B, he scored on a double dumped into the RF corner by Brian Goodwin. Reds led, 3-0.
  • Unfortunately, that all evaporated in the Bottom of the 4th, as Sonny Gray’s inability to finish PAs struck for the second straight start. A pair of walks complicated things, as they are wont to do, and with the bases loaded Nico Hoerner drove in a pair with a 2-out double. Things got even more frustrating when an infield single managed to score two more, as Hoerner busted tail after Ian Happ grounded to Mike Moustakas deep in the RF shift, made it home, and ended Sonny’s day. Michael Lorenzen later came on, threw a wild pitch to move both runners into scoring position, and the Cubs plated another run on an Anthony Rizzo groundout. Reds trailed, 5-3.
  • I dunno. Reds trailed, 6-3. Wait...7-3.
  • The Reds got a pair of runs back in the Top of the 8th off ribbie-singles by Shogo and Ty Steves, though Shogo’s was ultimately a half-bummer as he was thrown out at 2B after sliding past the base trying to stretch it into a double. Reds trailed, 7-5.
  • Willson Contreras spanked a double into the ivy off Nate Jones in the Bottom of the 8th, a double that plated Kris Bryant from 1B to give the Cubs an 8-5 lead, which is how things wrapped.

Tony Graphanino


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • There was originally some hope that Nick Senzel might be ready to return to the Reds as early as Friday. That got effectively squashed tonight, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed, though David Bell’s quotes do seem to still hint that Senzel is somewhat ‘close’ to getting back.
  • Unfortunately, the end of the season is also getting very, very close, too.
  • Sonny’s final line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K on 84 pitches.
  • Mike Moustakas exited the game after 5 innings. He had previously been hit by a pitch, so perhaps that’s why. Who knows. Left foot contusion. Now you know. Should’ve edited this better, probably.
  • Tyler Thornburg also exited the game with apparent discomfort, doing so after an awkward pitch with the bases loaded in the Bottom of the 6th.
  • Thanks to slow play and a rail delay, this game ended roughly 5.5 hours after it was scheduled to begin.
  • Friday will see the Reds in St. Louis to open a 3-game weekend series against the Cardinals. Luis Castillo will toe the rubber for the Reds in the series opener, though the Cardinals haven’t yet indicated who they’ll send to the mound, largely due to their doubleheader today against the Detroit Tigers. What we do know, though, is that first pitch is scheduled for 8:15 PM ET.
  • Tunes.