The Bottom of the 1st inning in Wrigley Field this Labor Day turned the game sour for the Cincinnati Reds in a hurry. A leadoff error by “1B” Asdrubal Cabrera was followed by a single into LF, setting the stage for a 3-run Ian Happ homer off Sonny Gray because, well, all Ian Happ does is homer off the Cincinnati Reds.
Fortunately, though, the Reds found a way to dig their way back out of that hole. Not all of the holes they dug on the day, but at least that one.
Gray settled down and began to breeze through the Chicago Cubs order, and the only reason his day ended somewhat early is because the offense finally rallied back to tie the game at 3-3 in the Top of the 6th, a rally that was aided by a pair of HBPs, a wild pitch, and a clutch pinch-hit by Max Schrock.
Michael Lorenzen took the mound for the Reds in the Bottom of the 8th after not having pitched in a big league game since the signing of the Magna Carta, and the rust showed immediately. Alfonso Rivas smacked a single and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and Rivas later came around to score when Frank Schwindel poked a single into right-center. That gave the Cubs a late 4-3 lead, one they’d hold on to with the Reds again sinking into the purgatory of ‘looking up at the teams in the playoff spots.’
Things have gone incredibly sideways for this club, and it’s sinking an otherwise promising season.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Let’s just say this one was uninspiring to the point of a pass.
- Sonny Gray’s final line was once again indicative of how filthy his stuff can be once he figures it out: 5.0 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K on just 66 pitches. His spot came up in the 6th inning rally, and manager David Bell opted to use Mike Moustakas with runners on and 2-out with hopes the inning got bigger, though that didn’t pan out.
- With a LHP on the mound, Joey Votto got the day off from starting, at least. He had a late pinch-hit appearance - also against a LHP - and lined out to CF to end the game.
- Tomorrow’s game between these two clubs will be of the night variety in Wrigley Field, with a 7:40 PM ET start time scheduled. Wade Miley will continue his campaign to finish ~6th in the NL Cy Young Award voting with a turn on the bump, and he’ll be opposed by RHP (!!) Adrian “Not Keyvious” Sampson of the Cubs.