The Tight Rope--Cubs 3 Reds 2

An exhausted and fatigued Chicago Cubs team did battle with the cellar dwelling Cincinnati Reds, and it showed early on. Matt Harvey and Cole Hamels each made it through three innings without surrendering a run. The Cubs managed a two out hit in each inning against Harvey, but the big hit eluded the Cubs offense once again.

Cole Hamels set done the first six Reds he faced. He struck out half of those Reds, and looked impressive. Unfortunately thoughts of the pitcher who ended the Cubs no-hit streak pitching his second no hitter at Wrigley on the 10 year anniversary of Carlos Zambrano's no hitter. Curt Casali hit a soft single up the middle to lead off the third inning. The handsome southpaw walked Billy Hamilton with one out. Scott Schebler then hit a rocket right at Anthony Rizzo, and the Cubs leader stepped on first to end the inning.

The Reds broke through in the fourth inning with José Peraza and Joey Votto hitting back to back home runs to start the inning. The Reds threatened to make it an even bigger inning as Hamels lost Eugenio Suárez on a 3-2 pitch. Scooter Gennett then jumped on the first pitch to single into left. Kris Bryant's misplay allowe Suárez to reach third on the play. Hamels got the 3-2 call against Phillip Ervin for the first out. Casali hit a groundball at Báez and the rocket armed shortstop fired home to nab Suárez at the plate. Hamels struck his counterpart to keep the Cubs within two runs.

The Reds defense gave the Cubs a scoring chance in the fourth inning. Báez hit a groundball underneath Suárez's glove for a single. Victor Caratini hit a groundball to Gennett, but the man they call Scooter decided to try to get Báez at second. Originally the call was out, but the review gave the Cubs two runners on base with no outs. David Bote hit the ball harder than Caratini and Gennett was given the chance to convert the easy double play. Hamels came to the plate and he remains an excellent pitcher. The Cubs ended the fourth down 2-0.

Hamels pitched out of trouble in the fifth and sixth inning. Matt Harvey didn't have any of the same issues as he retired the six Cubs batters, but at the end of the sixth inning the score was still locked at 2-0. Hamels hit Dillson Herrera with a pitch to start the seventh. He struck out Billy Hamilton, but Scott Schebler hit a fairly deep but easy fly ball out. Joe Maddon had seen enough and Dillon Maples entered the game. Peraza hit a sharp lineout to Murphy to end the inning.

David Hernandez started the bottom of the seventh inning. The Victory Carrot remained hot with a leadoff single, and David Bote hit a tricky hop groundball to Suárez that bounced off the slugger's shoulder to give the Cubs two runners on. Tommy La Stella entered the game as a pinch hitter and bounced into a fielder's choice that moved Caratini to third base. Ian Happ then launched the 1-0 pitch for what would turn out to be the game winnning blast. The Cubs threatened to bust it up. Amir Garrett retired Anthony Rizzo, and then Jim Riggleman went to Michael Lorenzen who rewarded his skipper by loading the bases for Báez. Javy popped it up to end the inning.

Jaime García was what Joe Maddon deemed his best option with Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson, Jesse Chavez and Carl Edwards Jr. unavailable. The lefty had to face the heart of the Reds order and somehow retired the dangerous Votto, Suárez and Gennett in order to send the Cubs back to bat. Lorenzen didn't give the Cubs any chance to extend their lead, and in entered Jorge de la Rosa for his first big league save. Phillip Ervin bounced a ball right at David Bote for the first out, but Casali hit a gapper for a double. Riggleman inserted a pinch runner, but he remained planted at second when pinch hitter Tucker Barnhart hit a relative easy catch for Bryant in left. De la Rosa lost Billy Hamilton on pitches to add to the drama, but a Scott Schebler pop fly was caught by Ian Happ for the Cubs 84th win. Unfortunately the Pirates weren't able to help at all, but none of that matters as long as the Cubs keep winning.


Source: FanGraphs

Random Reference
If you were completely confident that the Cubs would pull this one out at any point in the seventh inning or later, you are either lying or a homer. And we are only allowed one of those.

Filed under: Game Recap

Tags: cole hamels, Cubs, Matt Harvey, Reds


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  • All right... until Barley comes back: Thank you sir may “we” have another?

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Mike, I understand the “we” but being somewhat superstitious I’m going to keep saying what I always have. I do appreciate the inclusiveness if your question though.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Hey but it worked... 2 games winning streak. So I’m not giving up until Barley comes back... Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    Go Cubs

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I don't know if you are trying to be funny but the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

  • In reply to John57:

    John, that is a line from the movie animal house.

  • In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    Are you the guy who asked the guys playing card and said : Are you guys playing cards" in the movie animal house? ;)

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    No,i'm one of the guys giving the" you can't fix stupid " looks. One of my favorite movies. Whenever I watch it or any Mel Brooks movies I marvel at what was ( is) funny that would be considered unacceptable today. Any movie in which there is a threat of popping off a nuclear, acceptable. Go figure,

  • In reply to DLROBERTSON:


  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Ha! you're right.

  • Yes you may, be back soon BP, we miss you!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bleedblue:

    Yes You May!!

  • Cubs win, MIL wins. The Magic Number is reduced to 14.

  • Are we gonna continue to comment on exhausted and fatigue the cubs are? Can we move past this notion and focus on 2 weeks left.

    The way this team is struggling at the plate we need to get that timely homerun. Still wish we would play for a run anytime we can. Use bunts and hit and run more.
    This bullpen is gonna be a scary ride. I would like to see Maples to be the closer he has velocity and wicked slider to do so. I know control is an issue but if jim hickey is gonna be considered great start improving these young arms.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Good lord, we win a huge ballgame and three paragraphs of whining? ; )

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    For sure the last two W's were big. One came after losing two of three at home to our closest competitor and then after losing our closer for the season. Suffice to say, that the Cubs have their work cut out for them down the stretch. So far they found a way to answer that call.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Not whining. Just got tired of fatigue excuse.
    Was giving my 2 cents on how we score runs and who I thought could be good option for closer.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Fatigue is reality, you may be fatigued and want to use the cliche that there are no excuses and that obstacles are overcome by champions and cliches like jokes have to have a thread of truth to be poignant. That all said, fatigue has to be managed and when a team is fatigued the manager must make decisions often out of the rationale that fans possess, because fans get to second guess depending on the results.

    Okay in my view I am fascinated watching Maddon and Co., manage the fatigue and how fatigue caused by injuries and is causing injuries is managed in tactical game situations.

    Part of that management is using fresher players in fatigued leverage situations like Garcia and De La Rosa yesterday. I'll be happier when Heyward and Schwarber returns and allow Maddon to mix or match down the last couple weeks more.

    Finally I see Big Jon matching Hamels even more today and taking another number off the chart.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Thank you! Fatigue is real and it trumps desire and is unrelated to how much money you are paid.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Mind over matter might work for a minute, but it's not on going. A rested mediocre team will often best a more gifted team. Maddon' s season long resting of players will pay off going forward.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Nobody said fatigue was fake. Everybody knows cubs play 30 games in 30 days. I like the cliche no excuses. I haven’t heard any cub or coaching staff say boy we are tired?? Unless I missed an interview sometime. But you have 2 choices. Keep holding on to fatigue or suck it up and cheer them thru.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It’s easy for a non pro athlete to say no excuses. You’re not the one traveling to multiple cities with different time zones and playing 30 days in a row in a sport that requires you to perform in 90+ degree temps daily.

  • In reply to bolla:

    It easy to hold on to excuses. The true athletes don’t complain or say fatigue. The lesser athletes and fans hold on to that narrative way to long. I am not say cubs aren’t tired and body isn’t sore but so is everyone else. You can’t focus on the tired safety net. Reason why we struggled is we didn’t perform as well as the other team. Hitting has been a issue all year.

  • In reply to bolla:

    The Cubs didn't play 30 straight days. Maddon is resting 1 or 2 starters every game. The depth of the Cubs allow them to be rested and not fatigued.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Great post you can tell yourself to suck it up all you want and I get every team is fatigued and beat up this time of year anyways but now combine that natural late season fatigue with the longest stretch of games in baseball this year and that's how you have a dead tired core of star players and a growing injury list. I'd love to see anyone play this many games straight its easy to say no excuses no matter what regardless of how dire the circumstances are when you can't empathize with what they're going through. I think Maddon and rizzos recent comments make it perfectly clear that this stretch is hurting them Maddon said people just don't understand what 30 games in 30 days means and rizzo said this entire stretch is a joke so why not keep joking in response to him wearing his uniform and not packing any belongings on the one game trip to Washington. We won 2 straight every win in huge at this point but these wins weren't exactly pretty and this team in its current form needs to kill themselves just to win one game. I think being at home in itself should be a boost to these guys we have a lot of remaining home games.

    And kudos to Ian happ too the guys gotten a ton of flack this year on social media and these boards but maddon has shown faith in him this year. frankly I easily trust him more than Almora against righties Almoras obviously the far better defender but happs numbers against righties are now significantly better than Almoras so kudos to Maddon for sticking with the guy when many fans were calling for him to be traded, benched or sent down one of the bigger home runs of the season when the team needed our role players to step up most

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Reading down this page now, you are the only one bringing up fatigue, and more than once even... Sounds like all are over it except for you.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Maples does not have the control to be a closer

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Not yet but let’s see hickey really develop this project.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    This is not the time to do it

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I wouldn’t say it a players’s a fans excuse. There are no players whining about their schedules, every team is tired’s September.....some team has to win everyday.....
    With his great second half that Rizzo REALLY looks wore out doesn’t he?
    There is a big difference between a 20 years old body and one who is 25. By 25 these guys grow into their adult form and are at the physical peaks of their lives. Some get hurt but that happens in May too......
    The best accomodations available, vip travel, food per diems higher than what even some average people make in a day’s work and for most 5 months off work from Oct thru Feb.
    I’ve yet to hear one player complaining and all I see is the media making this more than it is......I.E....”Rizzo calls DC game a joke”......NO, that’s NOT what he said once you read his direct words.
    I’m not saying fatigue can’t happen but see it for what it fanning the narrative and then fanbases responding with hyperbole swallowing it hook, line, and sinker.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If you are wanting to see bunts, you need to go on youtube and find some old games from the 1980s. The math simply doesn't support bunting. There certainly are exceptions, like the pitcher at bat or the safety squeeze, you could utilize a bunt, but those are simply exceptions based on situation. below is a run expected chart. it doesn't paste well into this text box, but you can get the point. Giving away outs via the bunt leads to fewer runs and lower run scoring probability.

    Bunting is akin to blood letting. It used to make a lot of sense, but our understanding has evolved and it is not a cure for anything. It causes more harm than good. There are still believers in it, but it's wrapped in belief, historical norms, and mostly by fans who reject analytics.

    Outs Runners Expected Prob > 0 Count Total Runs Shutout
    0 --- 0.49 0.275 377390 186702 273565
    0 1-- 0.88 0.435 97684 85966 55235
    0 -2- 1.13 0.633 29342 33131 10768
    0 12- 1.50 0.636 21978 32895 7994
    0 --3 1.37 0.837 5360 7333 871
    0 1-3 1.75 0.870 9845 17210 1284
    0 -23 1.98 0.860 5571 11011 781
    0 123 2.37 0.882 5233 12419 617
    1 --- 0.26 0.159 270279 70996 227329
    1 1-- 0.52 0.276 112521 58731 81420
    1 -2- 0.69 0.414 52502 36227 30789
    1 12- 0.92 0.425 39375 36031 22649
    1 --3 0.96 0.667 18798 18020 6257
    1 1-3 1.17 0.653 19988 23348 6942
    1 -23 1.40 0.686 14152 19800 4443
    1 123 1.57 0.678 13474 21175 4339
    2 --- 0.10 0.067 215735 21306 201378
    2 1-- 0.23 0.128 113013 25469 98497
    2 -2- 0.33 0.224 64639 21275 50176
    2 12- 0.44 0.231 50463 22358 38792
    2 --3 0.38 0.275 27006 10272 19583
    2 1-3 0.50 0.286 25826 13007 18447
    2 -23 0.61 0.277 15357 9304 11100
    2 123 0.76 0.321 16281 12332 11060

  • In reply to Eli Roth:

    You're right it doesn't paste well. Have no idea what it means.

  • In reply to Eli Roth:

    Thanks Kent Murphy. If u are struggling at hitting. We don’t have a merry go round type line up. We have a hit a double and get a walk line up followed by a Hr. We rarely have 4 hit innings. Do something to help with moving runners. Bunt or hit and run. Face it joe is a guy that like doing unconventional things. Maybe go against your odds and try it.

  • LA has now tied STL for the 2nd wild card. Nothing would make me happier for a wild card game then to see MIL play LA with STL watching. It would be satisfying that their great run amounted to nothing more than a 3rd place playoff-less season.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    My dream senario would be Dodgers and Cards tie for last WC spot. They play tie breaker game with Cards winning. Then the WC game is played with Brewers with the Cards winning again burning their top two SPs. Then Cubs sweep Cards out of postseason. :-)

  • In reply to John57:

    I would rather see dodgers win the West and dbacks get hot and cards fold and brewers choke. . That way we’d play winner of Rockies and diamondbacks. And dodgers play the Braves. And brewers and cards get sent home!!!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Dbacks are not going to get hot because the Cubs are going to sweep them next series. :-)

  • Obviously, the Brewers are a really good team. I noted last off season after they signed Cain and traded for Yelich, that Milwaukee would be good competition for us. They are even better than I anticipated with depth and improve stating pitching. Hader throws b bs in the pen.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Brewers are 8-2 in the last 10, Cubs are 5-5

    Big picture: Brewers are 30-20 in the 2nd half (.600) Cubs are 31-23 (.574)

    Brewers were 13-13 in August, Cubs were 18-10, September Brewers are 9-3, Cubs are 7-6

    Brewers are playing .630 playing at home 7 games remaining (4.41 expectation 5 wins), playing (.520) on the road w/ 6 games remaining (expect 3 wins), or Brewers win between 7 or 8 games out of 13, finishing 92-93 wins.

    Cubs are playing .639 at home but have two more games remaining or 5.71 wins, (think 5 with the fatigue most with six) and have six on the road, (though three in Chicago), playing .533 (3.19 wins, think 3 wins) or a range of 8 to 9 wins out of 15. Cubs finish 94-95 wins.

    White knuckles and StL series will be meaningful unless Brewers hit a bump or Cubs suddenly put together a streak moving the win potential to 10-11.

  • Doesn’t matter how just keep winning, really hope the offense can break out some(5+ runs) so there’s less pressure on the pitching.

    The d backs have been nose diving ,just lost Buchholz for the season and their bullpen has been struggling big time the last month. The cubs gotta handle their business the next 5 games

  • Morrow threw a 19 pitch sim game today, will be activated in a few days. May be activated for the D-Backs series.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Great news could be a X factor for our playoff chances

  • In reply to bolla:

    How often will he be available?? What was velocity?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Not in back to back games

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