A baseball season is a long grind, there will be some glorious days and some rough days. And then sometimes there will be games where you just can’t catch a break. Thursday was one of those games for the Cubs, as they dropped their first series since early April.
Ironically, the evening started with a break for Chicago, the only one they would get. Kris Bryant drew a walk off Reds’ ace Luis Castillo with one out. Javy Báez doubled to left with two outs to put runners on second and third. Willson Contreras hit a dribbler down the third base line. Right before Eugenio Suarez scooped it up, it bounced off the base and over his head for a two-run double.
José Quintana was sharp early, he only allowed three runners the first four innings. Castillo kept the Cubs even quieter, retiring 13 batters in a row as a steady rain fell.
The 5th inning spelled doom for the North Siders on Thursday. Light-hitting José Peraza hit an opposite-field solo homer to right to make it 2-1. The pitcher Castillo singled and after a fly out, Joey Votto hit a single to put two on with two out.
Quintana threw two-straight pitches in the dirt to Suarez that skidded through the mud past Contreras. The second one he could have blocked maybe, with the bad conditions hard to say for sure. Castillo scored the tying run on the second wild pitch and Votto scored the go-ahead run when Eugenio singled.
Then the skies really opened up and the game was delayed nearly two hours. When play resumed, Daniel Descalso and Báez singled with two out in the top of the 6th. New pitcher Michael Lorenzen got another grounder to third from Willson, but this one didn’t hit the base and Votto picked the throw in the dirt to end the threat.
Tyler Chatwood took over for the Cubs and allowed seven baserunners in two innings. Only one of the seven would score, however, on another Suarez single to make it 4-2. That run would be academic; as Emir Garrett, David Hernandez, and Rasiel Iglesias didn’t allow a runner the final three innings to secure the win.
The Cubs had not lost a series since dropping two of three to Milwaukee in early April. To say they were due to drop a couple of games to someone is an understatement. As for the Reds, this team is good, they aren’t the same bottom dwellers they have been of late. The bullpen and the rotation are tough and the offense will start clicking. Unfortunately, they will be a thorn in Chicago’s side all season.
The Cubs couldn’t get a hit, then José Peraza went deep, then the rain led to a sloppy inning, then the game got delayed, then the Reds bullpen threw fire, and tomorrow is facing Max Scherzer after a late night flight. What next???