Puig Our Enemy -- Reds 6, Cubs 5 (10 innings)

Yu Darvish was on fire Wednesday night as the Chicago Cubs faced the Cincinnati Reds. The starter went 5.1 innings with five hits, two runs (both earned), no walks, and 11 strikeouts. Unfortunately, his stellar performance would not earn him or the team a win.

The Reds got on the board first on a single from Eugenio Suarez, scoring Nick Senzel and putting them ahead 1-0.

Addison Russell responded for the Cubs in he second inning, hitting a two-run shot off of Reds starter Sonny Gray that scored Albert Almora, Jr and brought the score to 2-1.

Almora got in on the home run game as well, hitting a solo shot in the fourth inning and putting the Cubs ahead 3-1. José Iglesias doubled and scored Derek Dietrich in the Reds half of the inning, and the fourth would end with the score at 3-2.

Robert Stephenson took over for Gray in the sixth inning and struck out Javier Báez to lead off the inning. Kyle Schwarber followed with a walk, but the Cubs would not score, as David Bote struck out and Almora got the third out on a flyout.

Mike Montgomery relieved Darvish in the sixth and faced Jesse Winker. Winker singled, followed by a strikeout from Yasiel Puig. Dietrich then doubled, but Winker was thrown out at home on a beautiful throw from Heyward in right. The play went 9-4-2 to end the inning.

Russell led off the seventh inning against new Reds reliever Jared Hughes and hit a single. He then advanced to second on an error by shortstop Iglesias. After facing Taylor Davis (who grounded out), Wandy Peralta came in to pitch. He faced pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Russell. The inning ended with the Cubs up 4-2.

Brandon Kintzler took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and faced Iglesias, who homered. With the Reds now ahead 4-3, Josh VanMeter pinch hit and grounded out to short. Tucker Barnhart and Senzel followed with outs to end the inning.

Kyle Schwarber added some insurance in the eighth for the Cubs against pitcher David Hernandez with a solo shot to bring the score to 5-3.

New Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan would face only one batter in the eighth, Joey Votto, who singled. Ryan was pulled in favor of Carl Edwards Jr, who gave up a two-run homer to Suarez. The inning ended with the game now tied at 5-5.

Raisel Iglesias came in to pitch for the Reds in the ninth and José Peraza stayed in at second base. Almora led off the inning and popped out to second, Russell popped out in foul territory and the ball was caught by Votto at first, and Davis lined out to end the inning.

Brad Brach pitched a scoreless ninth, facing Iglesias, Peraza, and Barnhart and getting a lineout, groundout, and lineout, respectively.

Brach also led off the 10th inning and lined out to center. Heyward followed with a soft groundout that went from catcher Barnhart to Votto at first. Kris Bryant kept his on base streak alive with a single and Báez followed with a single to keep his career-high 13 game hitting streak alive. Bryant advanced to third. Amir Garrett entered the game to get the third out, and was able to do so on a groundout from pinch hitter Willson Contreras.

Contreras remained in the game at catcher for the bottom of the 10th and Bryant moved from first to left field. Votto walked, followed by a single from Suarez. Votto advanced to third and Suarez reached second on a bobble at third from Bote. The Cubs deployed a five-man infield with Winker up to bat. He was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Michael Lorenzen entered to pinch run for Votto.

The game ended on a single from Puig, who avoided the golden sombrero in his fifth at-bat and got the Reds the 6-5 victory. Baseball is a weird game, isn't it?



Source: FanGraphs

Filed under: Game Recap

Tags: Cubs, Reds, Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish


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  • Ugh. I don't know. Sometimes I feel you get beat and tip your cap. Sometimes you give them away and it hurts. This seems to me to be just one of those tough losses. I know we had chances. But we lost, in overtime. I'm pretty calm for after a loss. I hardly remember what they feel like. Meh:

    "Every ounce of energy,
    You try to give away.
    As the sweat pours out your body
    Like the music that you play."

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I admit I didin't watch the game itself. I probably never will. I did follow it on gameday periodically while playing with my kids. And it had the feel of "just one of those losses." The Cubs have won their share of these games in the past. I don't like it. But I didn't lose a moment's sleep over it.

  • Theo has to be desperately seeking Kimbrel. I hear Deutschebank has easy terms.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    And the there’s always the Iron Bank…

  • In reply to BudMan:

    Their loan officers are pretty demanding!

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Boston bullpen is worse than the cubs and they don’t want Kimbrel. Don’t think he’s being sought y the cubs

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Why would we want a pitcher who is not effective as he used to be and would be very expensive? I say a definite pass.

  • In reply to John57:

    42 Saves last year. The reason for the disinterest is his reported price tag. Everyone is playing the waiting game.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    12 saves after the allstar game and a very poor postseason might be more of an issue than his ctt demands. Someone will sign him but why will he be better than Holland was last year after missing spring training?

  • In reply to stix:

    Not having seen a lot of the Red Sox in 2018, maybe he ran out of gas, Cora over-reliance, who knows? If after significant rest he isn’t better than of the rest of Cubs pen I’d be surprised. Won’t have to give up Gleyber to get him either.

  • The Ryan experiment needs to end. He’s give. Some decent appearances, but the pixie dust is almost gone. And Edwards should not be allowed to see the field from innings 8 and beyond.

    Late inning HR’s typically lead to a loss. Disappointed In Edwards’ lack of command throwing a 94 mph meatball out over the plate letting Suarez get easy lift on that swing.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Somehow Schwarber's late inning HR didn't lead to a win?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Pitch was high and off the strike zone. Didn't realize those qualify as meatballs. Edwards is poor when he doesn’t start the inning clean but had never allowed a hit to Suarez before yesterday. Bad choice but not many others available at that point.

  • In reply to stix:

    Allowing him to extend his arms on a stomach to chest high pitch is a meatball in my book. Knee high at that location does not end in the seats.

  • I haven’t seen a lot of commentary but it appears bad Heyward is back. 4 for 43 and 3 for 26 as a lead off hitter.

    I place some blame at Joe’s feet. Why did he feel the need to elevate Heyward. Just leave him alone. He obviously felt comfy in the back-half and was producing. Now we got a guy in an abysmal rut and given the last two seasons, he may not recover.

    I am Joe’s biggest fan, but my one complaint with him is the musical chairs lineups. I am not a fan of moving guys around. I wish he would stop moving guys up and down.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    he has hit in terrible luck in the last week which has set him back. Was it Saturday or Sunday that he lined out twice with line drives right at infielders (one for a DP) and last night he lined out hard to left leading off the game. He is having some bad AB's now as well.

    As for moving him around, when Zobrist went on leave, somebody had to move up there, couldn't just have the leadoff spot be open. Joe was forced to move somebody.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    With no Zobrist leadoff options are extremely limited. Could go back to AA not sure how good that would be. Your choice for leadoff?

  • In reply to stix:

    As soon as Rizzo comes back, I'd just like to so KB, Rizzo, Contreras, and Baez hit 1 through 4.

  • In reply to stix:

    KB would have been my choice

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    How about Scwarber?

    Line up is out and Schwarbs is leading off. Then KB, Descalso, Javy, Willy, Caratini, Heyward, Almora, Q.

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    In reply to KJRyno:

    Didn't the Cubs try that in 2017?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Descalso was hitting leadoff vs righties before he got hurt. Joe might need to swap those two back. And who knows when Zo comes back. So until Happ or Zo return, that's really his only option.

  • Point being, we have no lead off hitter. Haven’t since Fowler.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    It's because the FO doesn't value it. I'd be surprised if you ever see a permanent one.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Darvish went to ball three with 7 different batters and retired them all, including 5 by punch-out. While I would prefer he not go so deep into so many counts, at least he was able to bear down and finish the job. I take that as a good sign.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    100 pitches every 5 inning performance is very taxing on an already marginal bullpen depth. Would be better to try to get early contact and not be afraid of the hitter putting the ball in play.

    I guess no walks was a big positive but they can’t carry him the whole year, he needs to lower his pitch counts.

  • In reply to stix:

    So is a manager that pulls the starting pitcher needlessly. Its not as if Yu was running out of steam and 11 strikeouts in 5 innings is extraordinary.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Fair comment. Do you believe in pitch counts? If so, what might it be? Always a concern that you might overwork the pitcher and impact performance later in the year.

  • In reply to stix:

    Darvish career stats per MLB is an average of 102 pitches per game. These players are young studs, not prima donnas. Someone says or writes somewhere that certain guys can not hit RHPs or LHps or states to watch their pitch counts is all a bunch of baloney. Were guys like Fergie Jenkins, Glavin, Smoltz, Nolan Ryan,etc. super human? They pitched a lot more innings than these guys today and their arms didn't fall off.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    My point is that when someone in the media says or prints something we all jump on it like it is the "gospel" whether it is a fact or not (like hitting RHPs and LHPs). Its just plain "bull____"

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I actually think in this case Joe used the pitch count as an excuse. I think he was just really guarded and wanted to make sure Yu came out of this game with a great feeling of what he had done. And he got to where he needed to be with the bullpen, they just didn't do the job.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    You could be right KJ but Joe's job is to win ball games, not make someone feel good. That can be done before and after a game.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Once again KJ why would pulling Darvish early help him the logic that he needs his mental psyche protected is so unbelievably stupid. Confidence is built through accomplishing tasks not running away from them, and if that's Joe's logic (which I don't believe it was) then that shows a misunderstanding of human psychology. It's really very simple he should've been allowed to go until he allowed a baserunner. That allows us to guard against a potentially excessive pitch count plus he finished that outing sharp striking out 4 of the final 5 batters he faced. It's not as if he's been overworked he was pulled early in each of his starts against the marlins and cardinals. He hasn't been pushed recently like Lester and Hendricks. Darvish had also been mowing down Puig and WInker all night. Maddon's logic was to match Montgomery vs. the lefty plus Yu's pitch count was getting up there. The issue is Montgomery isn't a loogy and shouldn't be treated as such. He's always been at his best either in a long relief type role or starting. As Jim and I said in the moment the call was made, Montgomery would've been more ideally used in the bottom of the 7th especially with the pitcher spot due up during the cubs turn top of the 7th.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Darvish was @ 102 when he was lifted.

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    I disagree with your assertion about human psychology. To me Darvish DID overcome some hurdles. He left the game with a lead (I believe), he had 11 Ks and 0 BB. I think he would have MORE confidence at that point than if he'd gone back out there, tired, and given up 4 BB's before Joe could get a guy warmed up in the 'pen.

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    First of all, your list includes EXCLUSIVELY HOF level pitchers (only Clemens is not in the HOF and NOT because he wasn't a dominant pitcher). To some extent they ARE superhuman. If you select only the cream and portray them as "normal" your argument is disingenuous from the start.

    Were there lots of non-HOF pitchers who also threw a lot of innings? Yes. But the game was very different then. When pitchers from the 60's and 70's were interviewed (not just HOF) many said they didn't really "buckle down" until a guy was on base. Now every player in MLB practically is at least a THREAT to his a HR. They may not hit a ton but they are capable. The 1970's featured guys like Larry Bowa. The guy averaged less than 1 HR every 600 PAs in that decade. He wasn't a threat to "go deep." Regardless of his defensive prowess no team would play a guy 6000+ PAs with so little ability to take a pitcher deep. That leads to guys throwing harder and higher stress pitches.

    I start looking for a guy to come out after about 100 pitches. With the understanding that:
    1. Not all pitches are the same stress level. A guy might be exhausted after 80 pitches if there is a ton of "traffic" on the bases. Or he might still have something left in the tank after 105 pitches but a batter never advanced past 2B.

    2. Sometimes a guy has to take it on the chin to give the bullpen a break.

    There are also other considerations. I don't necessarily favor taking a guy out after X pitches "because of pitch count" but it is ignored at your peril.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    This is to Joel he was at 102 pitches and I clearly said that I only would've left him in until he allowed a baserunner. Even if he walks a guy or gives up a base hit, I'd say the reward of allowing him to go 6 innings and get the quality start is greater then the risk of him carrying allowing a single baserunner into his next start. Most importantly too I thought allowing him to face the next 2 baserunners gave the team the best chance to win. He finished strong and had Winker and Puig's number all night. Like I said I would've pulled him though if he allowed a baserunner with his pitch count rising. But definitely not with nobody on base.

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    KK, let's look back at another game that I believe led Joe Maddon to pull a starter due to confidence. It isn't always about "protecting" the players confidence. Sometimes it is about pulling the guy when he is experiencing dominance. In my below example it was also about not allowing the other team to feel ANY confidence when facing this guy.

    The date is Sept. 27, 2015. Cubs vs Pirates. Jake Arrieta was perfect through 7 innings. 9Ks, 0BB, 0H. In the top of the 7th he gave up a hit. A clean single. He was at 84 pitches. Maddon pulled him out. Maddon rode Jake hard (remember "Jake Day"?). He was certainly not worried about pitch count with 84 pitches. But he didn't want the Pirates to have any confidence against Jake, foreseeing it was likely they would face each other in the wild-card game.

    The parallel is certainly NOT that Darvish has been as dominant as Arrieta in September, 2015. But, rather, because when a pitcher is experiencing supreme dominance THAT is the best "feeling" he can have. Yes, maybe Darvish could have faced a couple more batters. But if he gives up even a single BB it would mar an otherwise brilliant performance (other than taking WAY too many pitches). Take him out when he is on top. If it is a psychological barrier--and I don't know for sure that it is or not--then Maddon wants Darvish looking back on that game and drawing NOTHING but strength from it. He also presented a plausible explanation about "pitch count" but I think he wanted to make sure to get Darvish out of there with a lead, in a position to win the game, and a terrific pitching line. If he walks a batter THAT might be a bad taste to leave in his mouth to end the game. It is possible that Maddon wanted him to look back on the game and see nothing but success (outside of throwing too many pitches to do what he did).

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    Sorry, I made a mistake. In the game I cited they pulled Arrieta but let him finish the inning. He gave up a single and a HBP in the 7th. I misremembered the game. But I think it was still about pulling him while he felt supremely dominant.

  • You hate a loss like that, but it's also the kind of thing you can't dwell on. Baseball is going to baseball. The fact that Darvish pitched so well and walked not a man might actually make up for the loss.

  • Not sure why I can't reply to kkhlavi but I will just reply out to nowhere I guess. I will not use the stupid word as I learned a long time ago that disagreeing with someone doesn't make their POV stupid. It was a good lesson back then for me, perhaps you might want to try it : ).

    . But I can tell you are looking at it totally different than I do. Darvish had thrown a hundred pitches and had done well. Take that as a positive step. No walks. Eleven strike outs. Leaves on a high note too. Do you wait for him to walk someone or give up a single and a home run before you go get him and let him sleep on the bad ending? It's like me when I go golfing, I can have a good front nine quit and sit in the clubhouse drinking beer and thinking positive about my round. I could also go back out and play another nine and blow up.

    In today's baseball world, Yu's job isn't to finish the ballgames, it is to get to point B wherever that may be and hand it over to the bullpen. The bullpen just blew it. It happens. Yu did his job. That is a positive step.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    And KJ i've always had good talks with you. By no means meant your opinion is stupid I meant the narrative in general. I've seen this idea that Joe is pulling him early to protect his confidence by some on this site. I think the logic of pulling him early to build his confidence isn't logical. These starters pride themselves in eating innings, and in general these guys would tell you that 6 innings is generally a basemark line of how deep these guys want to go. I'd rather see them allow him to build his confidence by pitching deeper into games where he's looking sharper rather then constantly giving him the quick hook regardless of what type of form he has that day/night.

    But for me this is all off topic Jim O and I said in the moment this decision was made that we disagreed with the call to pull him with nobody on. We felt having Darvish finish the inning with his spot due up next half inning, while allowing Montgomery to go multiple innings starting from the bottom of the 7th gave the team the best shot to win with a somewhat depleted bullpen. You may disagree but I think Jim and I's viewpoint is completely defensible. He'd been mowing down Winker and Puig all night and seemed to have some positive momentum going for him after his base hit in the 5th (even flashing a smile for a change lol). He then went out and had his best inning bottom of the 5th then struck out Suarez who was the only hitter he faced in the 6th. Based on all of that context, I would've managed that game differently not to say Maddon isn't good at his job, or that I can do better.

  • reply to Clark Addison.

    That is true, but if Joe doesn't pull him and Yu gives up the runs then you could argue that a bullpen that has been really good should have been used. It is also fair to point out that we have won a lot of the games Yu has started just because of using the bullpen. Even when he has been bad.

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