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No clutch, no bullpen, Reds lose.

In a game where the Reds had every opportunity to blow the door down, they falter.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Jesse Winker - 3 for 4, 2B, BB, R

I really wanted to give this to Joey Votto but I could not ignore a guy that got on four times. Joey Votto is still awesome.

Honorable Mention - Joey Votto (1 for 3, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Kyle Farmer (HR, 3B, BB), and Tony Santillan (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 K), and Jonathan India and Aristides Aquino for getting on base twice.

Key Plays

  • In the bottom of the 1st, Miley got himself into trouble. It was a prelude to a night where he would visibly struggle with his stuff and command. Kris Bryant singled on a liner that was deflected by Miley and then the first pitch to Anthony Rizzo was launched to center field. Cubs lead, 2-0.
  • The one who bangs, Joey Votto, led off the top of the 2nd, and he did so with a bomb to right field. It was his 15th of the year and his third in as many days. Kyle Farmer tripled but was stranded. Cubs lead, 2-1.
  • In the top of the 3rd, Wade Miley led off with a single because he’s a feared hitter. Jonathan India singled on a ground ball back up and middle and Jesse Winker singled on a grounder to load the bases with no outs. Aquino struck out and then Votto came to the plate looking to dinger again. He got a pitch he liked and uncorked a strong swing but he got under it. Instead it was a sacrifice fly. Suarez flied out to end the threat. Tie game.
  • Miley again got into trouble in the bottom of the inning. Kris Bryant led off with a walk and Miley got the next two outs. He then walked Patrick Wisdom and David Bote singled to left field which scored Bryant. Miley then struck out Jake Marisnick to end the inning. Cubs lead, 3-2.
  • Kyle Farmer dingered so he was official on cycle watch. Game tied.
  • In the top of the 5th, India singled and Jesse Winker doubled to right field. Aquino then walked to load the bases and again Joey Votto came to the plate with bases loaded this time with no outs. He walked. It was a historic walk and you’ll see why in other notes. Suarez struck out, Stephenson grounded out to score Winker, and Kyle Farmer struck out. Reds lead 5-3.
  • The bottom of the fifth would be the last for Miley who was obviously struggling but gutted out 104 pitches. Tony Santillan entered the game for Miley in a big spot. He faced a bases loaded situation with one out. On a 1-1 count, he got Jason Heyward to ground the ball up the middle and Farmer took it himself for a double play. Santillan then came back out for the sixth and struck out the side. He sprinkled a hit in there but his breaking stuff and fastball was fantastic. He came in from the pen with some fire. His body language and throwing motion was violent. He looked really good.
  • The Cubs scored one off of Brad Brach in the bottom of the 7th. Wisdom struck out, Bote walked, and Marisnick bunted Bote to second. then Nico Hoerner singled on a soft liner that Shogo Akiyama almost made a great play on. The play was ruled a catch but review showed that Akiyama obviously trapped it and he knew it. Tucker Barnhart then caught Hoerner stealing with an assist from a beautiful snap tag from Farmer. Hoerner was called safe but again there was a review that showed otherwise. Reds lead, 5-4.
  • In the top of the 8th the Reds attempted to play add on. Suarez singled to left, Akiyama reached on a catcher interference, and Kyle Farmer walked. Tucker Barnhart battled but eventually struck out, Max Schrock hit a blooper to center field but it was caught and too short to advance Suarez at third, and then Jonathan India struck out. The Reds seem to be wasting a lot of bases loaded and no outs opportunities lately.
  • Josh Osich, who gets away with way too many meatballs, did not get away with one to Wilson Contreras to killed a dead center 87 MPH cutter about 400 feet into left center field. Osich got himself to two outs with a runner on and Bell elected to bring in Heath Hembree to face Matt Duffy. Hembree struck him out. Tie game.
  • The Reds, man. Craig Kimbrel is really really good and these Reds just don’t give a shit. Jesse Winker led off with a walk and then Kimbrel left a ball over the middle of the plate and Aquino laced it into left field, bringing up the future Hall of Famer, Joey Votto. He struck out and then Eugenio Suarez struck out. Shogo Akiyama came up with two outs in the crunch spot. Shogo battled to a 3-2 count. He struck out looking to end the threat. The Reds once again had multiple runners on with no outs and nothing to show for it.
  • While Hembree has been good he lost his control in the bottom of the 9th, loading the bases with only one out in the bottom of the 9th. Bell would pull Hembree for Garrett to face Javier Baez. Mike Freeman was brought into the game as a fifth infielder because they have to get the out at home. With the first pitch, Baez crushed a pitch to deep center field to end the game. Baez did a little more than just celebrate his win. He directly taunted Garrett and then threw his bat out to the mound. Umpires got Garrett off the field pretty quickly. Obviously, there were tensions earlier in the year due to Garrett’s excitement after striking out Baez. This was a quite a bit over done. Baez just looked like a complete and total asshole, but he plays for the Cubs and their fans deserve him. Garrett is a loud and excitable player but I can never think of a time when he directly taunted another player. Obviously, I’m biased as a Reds fan but Garrett has always seemed to me to focus on the excitement of the game to pump him up. Cubs win, 6-5.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The Reds signed their first round pick, Matt McLain, tonight. He was given a $4.6M signing bonus. It’s pretty exciting because the Reds have been getting some good external reviews of the job they did.
  • With his walk in the 5th to drive in a run, Joey Votto broke the Reds record for the number of walks taken with bases loaded. It was his 18th of his career, breaking a tie with Pete Rose.
  • Joey Votto also hit his 40th homerun of his career against the Cubs.
  • People will talk about the bullpen but the Reds left 28 batters on base in this one. They had multiple opportunities with multiple runners on with no outs and they squandered them.
  • It will be interesting to see how this series will play out with the Baez’s embarrassing antics to end the game and how the Reds will respond. Garrett seemed to just shrug it off as Baez continued to be a joke.