All Good Things--Reds 4 Cubs 2

The Cubs winning streak is over and they are back in a tie for the final playoff spot. The Cardinals lost so that means it is a mere 2 games to not having to play in a do or die game again. But the Yelich-less Brewers continue to beat bad teams. It means that the Cubs are going to have to get back in the win column quickly.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The old saying about top pitchers was that you needed to get them early before they settled in. Tonight's performance by Yu Darvish felt very much like that with the first five Reds hitters jumping all over Yu Darvish. Josh VanMeter bounced a grounder up the middle to start the game. He scored on Joey Votto's double. Darvish struck out Eugenio Suarez, but it was 3-0 after Aristides Aquino hit his bajillionth home run against the Cubs since August. Tucker Barnhart followed that up with a single, but Darvish locked in to strike out ten of the next eleven batters he faced. The Reds managed to put just one ball in play after the Barnhart single until the fifth inning.

The hot Cubs lineup was able to answer in the bottom half of the first inning against Sonny Gray. Nicholas Castellanos reached on a one out walk. Kris Bryant struck out swinging for the second out, but Nicky 2bags was able to score easily on Kyle Schwarber's two out double. Willson Contreras grounded out to end the threat.

Victor Caratini led off the second with a walk. Gray retired Jason Heyward and Nico Hoerner before Caratini was walked into scoring position, but Yu Darvish struck out to end the frame. Ben Zobrist was plunked to start the third, but was exchanged for Nicholas Castellanos on a fielder's choice. Kyle Schwarber tripled to drive in the Cubs second run. Gray then caught Contreras looking to end the third. Nico Hoerner managed a two out single in the fourth, but that was all the Cubs could manage against Sonny Gray

And of course it would be Sonny Gray that broke up Darvish's retired batters streak with one out in the fifth inning. Darvish battled Joey Votto with two outs, but eventually walked him for his only base on balls for the evening. Suarez smacked a ball back up the middle to score Gray as the Reds managed a two out rally. The 4-2 score held for two more innings as neither team could solve the opposing starter.

The next base runner came with a two out pinch hit walk from Tony Kemp in the bottom of the seventh. Ben Zobrist then smacked a single into left field to give the Cubs their first true scoring chance since the third inning and chase Gray from the game just short of seven complete innings. Hard throwing Michael Lorenzen struck out Castellanos to end the threat.

Danny Hultzen was summoned to face Joey Votto and the LOOGY failed to LOOG. Instead the patient Red hitter drew a base on ball to start the eighth. Steve Cishek then induced a groundball off the bat of Eugenio Suarez but Hoerner was only able to make a sliding stop. Hoerner attempted a throw that was thankfully as weak as it was off line. Aquino bounced the ball to Bryant who attempted to start a double play, but Aquino easily beat the throw to first. Tucker Barnhart hit a ball right to Ben Zobrist who fired home to get Votto at the plate. Phillip Ervin grounded out to keep the score at 4-2.

Michael Lorenzen surrendered a one out infield single to Kyle Schwarber, but the Cubs offense remained silent from the big lefty slugger. Brad Wieck pitched a clean ninth inning to give the Cubs hitters one more chance. Raisel Iglesias pitched a clean ninth inning to deny the Cubs even a tease rally.

Random Reference
Yu Darvish struck out 13 batters. Sonny Gray struck out nine batters. The Cubs and Reds combined for 28 strikeouts on the night which made most of the night feel like we were watching this. Ian Happ taking a called third strike was the only way it could end.

Filed under: Game Recap

Tags: Cubs, Reds, Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish

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  • Crap. Now it’s 6-3 on the quest for 15-5 in the last 20 games. Start another streak tomorrow and hope the Padres can beat the Brewers. Go Cubs.

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    It’s one loss to a very good pitcher.
    Time to win tomorrow.

  • StL lost to WSH. MIL beat SDP. The new Magic Numbers:

    Division: 14
    Playoffs (WC): 12

    And the not-so-magic (Elimination) Number (division): 10

  • We were all hoping for a longer winning streak, because, at this point, every win is so necessary. Must win tonight. Too many teams would need to cave for the Cubs to back into the post season.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The Cubs control their own destiny. Win 5 of 7 against the Cardinals and they win the division. Frankly they have an easier path to that than they do the WC at this point. Milwaukee is not going to win out. They're the least talented of the three teams albeit with the easiest schedule. First things first though, the Cubs have to win tonight. Currently the Cards are up 1-0 against Washington in the 4th but that one is far from over. Washington wins, the Cubs win and we have a chance to be in first place tomorrow night. This isn't exactly fun but it is what it is.

  • While the Cubs and Cards are beating each other up, Milwaukee has a cake schedule and the best chance of gaining ground. We're honestly not gonna be able to lose more than a couple of games at most.

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    I think one of the reasons, baseball is such an interesting game.

    I saw this stat the Cubs by Memorial day had 11 blown saves.

    Imagine the Cubs only have 9, what a difference it would make right now.

  • In reply to HJW49:

    That's one of the factors that got the Cubs where they are now. All that talk about "intensity" was supposed to have a better result, but here we are...again.

  • In reply to HJW49:

    That doesn't mean they lost 11 games they could have won. There can be multiple blown saves in a game, and you can blow a save and still win the game. What's more telling is how games a team has lost with a late inning lead.

  • In reply to Metal Militia:

    Even if it was only 3 or 4 games that would've been wins, we'd be looking at a whole different picture.

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    I agree. That's why I was rooting for the Cardinals to sweep the Brewers or at least win 2 of 3. When the Crew won 2 of 3, I pretty much figured they will win the division. Looking at their schedule, I'm not sure they will lose another game, but at worst I figure they'll go 9-2. That means we would have to beat STL 5 out of 7 and win our other 4 games just to stay tied with them.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Sounds about right...

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I see it the same way. The Brewers are on easy street. The Reds are the only team left on their schedule with a pulse, so realistically they may lose one game in that series. Other than that, the division is probably theirs to lose. That means the Cubs, Cardinals, and Nationals are fighting for the two WC spots, so the Cubs have some work to do.

    The only realistic exceptions are if the Cards win 9 of their last 11, or the Cubs win 10 of their last 11. Then, yes, both teams control their own destiny.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I think the Cubs and Cards will play the wild card game. Washington is going to lose today and hey still have an awful week next week with a double header and 5 game series against an arch rival that will want to knock them out of the playoffs as well as a three game series with playoff bound (maybe) Cleveland.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Do you really think the Brewers will just cruise, easy schedule and all, without Yelich? They're winning on adrenaline and gumption. They're less talented that either the Cardinals or the injury plagued Cubs right now. They're going to lose some games they aren't supposed to. I think they make the playoffs for sure but as the WC. Either the Cubs or Cards win the division with the other one likely staying home unless Washington continues to stumble which I just can't see.

  • In reply to TC154:

    How many games do you see the cubs winning between now and the end of season?

  • In reply to HJW49:

    They have to win 9 of 11. 5 against the Cards, all against the Pirates and tonight. I can't see the Brewers winning that many. Like I said the odd man out is going to be either the Cubs or Cardinals. Brewers will be the WC.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I realize how many they "have to" win. :)

    My question is how many do you personally see the Cubs winning between now and the end of season.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I hope you're right about the Brewers not winning 9 of 11, but I think they will win at least that. They somehow won 20 games last September and now they're on the same kind of run. Not having Yelich will cost them in the playoffs, but teams can survive losing their best player for a short stretch. They have won 7 of 8 so far without him and their schedule is easy. Again, I hope I'm wrong because they have become my least favorite team in baseball, but I will be surprised if they don't win at least 9 more games. Cincinnati is the only team that may beat them. The Cubs not getting at least one more against them in their last 7 will cost them. And the Cardinals not having Martinez available in the 9th in last Sunday's game may cost them.

  • In reply to TC154:

    The reds probably have Castillo and Gray pitching for them. If they don’t quit those will be interesting games.

    Not sure there’s more than 1or 2 other losses on their schedule. Now if the cubs had the same schedule many of us would be concerned that the cubs would split the remaining games.

    Cubs best bet is to win everything otherwise they’ll have to count on someone else to come through.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I don't see the Crew winning out just because their schedule says they should. This is baseball, and you're right, out of the Big 3 in the NL Central they are the least talented. Their team is top-heavy as well, and losing Yelich will begin to show, although we are winning without Javy and Rizzo.

    It's all going to come down to us vs. the DirtyBirds, whether for the division or WC. I hate to say it, but those last 3 games in St. Louis scare me.

    How you doing, TC? I hope you have a TV package available to watch the games. Hang in there, my friend, this is getting interesting.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’m actually home, for now. Long story short my numbers got a little too good and I ended up at status 4 which I was before I was admitted. I’m being monitored much more closely though with a home nurse twice a week and seeing the doctors once a week. I could literally be back in the hospital at any time. Roller coaster ride, but I knew that going in

  • In reply to TC154:

    The Brewers are mostly playing teams who are only "competing" for draft position. Also, they deserve credit for how well they are playing at this time of the season. They are playing extremely well. Yelich is a big loss, but there starting rotation has been very good. Better than the Cubs, to be honest. As long as that staff keeps pitching at that level, I would not be surprised to see the Brewers go on a 10-1 to finish the season.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    "there starting rotation" = "their starting rotation". yeesh

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    In reply to HefCA:

    I’m not sure why everyone’s overlooking the Rockies on Milwaukee’s schedule. They just took a series from the Cards a week ago in Denver (which is where they play the Brewers).

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Anything is possible and maybe the Rockies can avoid a sweep but that’s getaway weekend. Not sure where their minds will be focused.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    The Rockies have been horrible after the ASB. The only series they have won in the entire 2nd half of the season against a team above .500 has been that one Cardinals series. That is bad baseball.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    If they go 10-1 they finish with 24-4 record for the last 28 games. They deserve to be in the playoffs closing on that run.

    Cubs desperately need to go 4-1 in the next 5 games to see where everything sits after Sunday and then probably will need to win 5of the last 7 to make it to the playoffs.

  • In reply to stix:

    I know, that's pretty incredible. But the way they have been playing, and the schedule they have left, it looks very doable to me. And I agree, they deserve to be in the playoffs if they finish 24-4. Pretty good stuff.

  • ”Inciting the unacceptable behavior of some of the fans were the inflammatory and completely irresponsible remarks of local radio broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. . . . There is no excuse for encouraging a situation where the physical safety and well-being of any individual is put significantly at risk. Nothing justifies such unprofessional behavior.” - Former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti to the New York Times regarding a 1988 game incident when Reds manager Pete Rose was ejected and Brennaman then encouraged fans listening to the game on headphones at Riverfront Stadium to continue tossing refuse onto the field at the umps.

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