- Friday, August 28th: Reds 6, Cubs 5
- Saturday, August 29th (Game 1 of DH): Cubs 3, Reds 0 (F/7)
- Saturday, August 29th (Game 2 of DH): Reds 6, Cubs 5 (F/7)
- Sunday, August 30th: Cubs 10, Reds 1
Spirited Comeback Falls Short Again
The Cubs headed to Cincinnati after losing two of three versus the Detroit Tigers. One of those losses came by one run after the Cubs scored three in the ninth only to fall short. The first game of this Reds series was very similar.
The Cubs offense did get off to a hot start as Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber both hit first inning home runs to give the Cubs a quick 2–0 lead. However, Reds starter Tyler Mahle settled in, retiring 9 of the next 10 batters after the Schwarber home run. Mahle ended up striking out 11 Cubs batters over 6 ⅔ innings.
Kyle Hendricks came into this game scuffling, losing his last two starts. It was not going to be easy for Hendricks as the Reds offense came in blazing hot, including a 12-run, 21-hit performance against Milwaukee in the previous game.
Hendricks did end up struggling, going six innings but giving up ten hits and five earned runs in the process, including two home runs. Kyle Ryan gave up a home run to Freddy Galvis in the 8th as the Reds headed into the 9th up four runs.
Similar to their last game against Detroit, the Cubs scored three runs in the top of the 9th, only to fall short by one run. Another frustrating loss and another three game losing streak.
Yu Darvish is Cool and Tough
You just know Ernie would be loving all of these doubleheaders baseball has seen this season. The Cubs were scheduled for another one on Saturday, making up for a game that was rained out earlier in the season.
Game One of the doubleheader saw a pair of aces and NL Cy Young contenders face off as Yu Darvish took the ball for the Cubs and Trevor Bauer took the ball for the Reds. Darvish was going for his sixth straight win on the mound.
Although he wasn’t on his A game, Darvish did put in a workmanlike performance, highlighted by one of the wildest pitches ever seen as Darvish’s glove accidentally fell off mid pitch.
Darvish went six innings, giving up seven hits and striking out eight, while lowering his ERA to 1.47. He also walked only two batters, the 25th straight start he walked two or less batters in a game, a career best.
While it was not Darvish’s best performance, and the Reds did have multiple chances to score, Darvish always seemed to make the right pitch at the right time, including forcing Galvis to ground out with the bases loaded in the 5th.
While the Cubs offense provided patient at bats – as seen by Bauer’s 112 pitch count in just 5⅓ innings – the bats only achieved four hits all game. However, two of those hits came from the bat of Anthony Rizzo, with both flying over the outfield wall for home runs, Rizzo’s 7th and 8th of the year.
Let’s Play Two
While one may consider the first game of the doubleheader to be straightforward, Game Two was anything but. Alec Mills looked to build off his last quality start while Tejay Antone was looking to continue his solid rookie season for the Reds.
This wacky game started off with some Cubs fireworks as Ian Happ led off the game with a home run, his 7th of the year. Joey Votto did the same thing for the Reds, which meant both teams led the game off with a home run while playing each other for the first time since 1892.
Mills was unable to build off of his last start versus Detroit as he only went three innings, giving up four hits and four runs. Things became chippy in the fourth inning as the aforementioned fireworks continued.
This time, it didn’t result in home runs, but five ejections, including managers David Ross and David Bell. Tejay Antone threw a ball up and in on Anthony Rizzo.
While it was incidental according to Antone, home-plate umpire Nic Lentz issued warnings to both teams. Both teams took issue with the warning, with David Ross and assistant coach Mike Borzello ending up being ejected.
David Bell took issue when Albert Alzolay threw a similar up and in pitch to Shogo Akiyama later in the game. When David Bell came out to talk to the umpires about the pitch, Anthony Rizzo began yelling at Bell, prompting Jesse Winker and Joey Votto to come out of the dugout. After ignoring warnings to stop, first-base umpire Dan Bellino ejected both Votto and Winker, followed by Bell.
After the ejections, the Cubs rallied to take the lead, tying the score in the fifth after Nico Hoerner scored on Happ’s one out double. It was an unearned run as Hoerner reached on a two-base error by Castellanos, who dropped a routine fly ball on the warning track.
While Alzolay, Ryan Tepera, and Rowan Wick pitched three innings of shutout ball, Craig Kimbrel’s woes continued. The embattled pitcher got another chance to save a game after Jeremy Jeffress pitched in Game One of the doubleheader earlier in the day. However, he squandered that chance.
Kimbrel issued a lead off walk to Curt Casali and a one-out walk to Castellanos. Aristides Aquino then hit a bloop single that scored Casali. Two more wild pitches by Kimbrel allowed Castellanos to score the winning run. Jeffress must now be cemented as this team’s closer.
Cubs Salvage Split
The Cubs and Reds met for the finale of this four game series after a wild Game Two of the previous day’s doubleheader. Tyler Chatwood and Luis Castillo were the starters, with the latter looking for his first win of the season.
Castillo had only given up one home run this season entering this game, but the Cubs must not have gotten the memo. All in all, the Cubs hit six home runs, three of which came off Castillo. By the end of the day, all of the outfielders Schwarber (9), Jason Heyward (5), and Happ (9) hit a pair of home runs, including a 9th inning Schwarber grand slam.
It is the first time in MLB history that all three starting outfielders each hit a pair of home runs in the same game.
Happ and Heyward continue to lead the charge for this offense as other stars like Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo have mostly struggled. Heyward is having his best offensive season as a Cub, now hitting .286/.402/.962.
Tyler Chatwood only pitched 2⅓ innings before signaling to the dugout that he needed to be taken out of the game. At first, it was thought to be a re-aggravation of his recent back injury, but sources say that Chatwood actually came out due to elbow discomfort.
Jose Quintana came in after Colin Rea finished off the 3rd inning, who recorded his first win in nearly four years.
Quintana pitched really well, going three innings, giving up two hits, and striking out six, with the only blip on the day being a Joey Votto home run.
Ryan Tepera walked the based loaded in the 7th, but got out of it with an incredible diving play by Nico Hoerner. Kyle Ryan went 1-2-3 in the 8th and Dwayne Underwood Jr. finished it off in the 9th by striking out the side, securing a split of the four game set.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Cubs have an off day tomorrow before they head to PNC Park to take on the Pirates for a three game set. The Cubs will look to stay undefeated against the Pirates this season.
- Tuesday, September 1: Jon Lester (2-1, 4.55 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-1, 2.52 ERA)
- Wednesday, September 2: Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 4.09 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (1-2, 7.62 ERA)
- Thursday, September 3: TBD vs. JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
For postgame reactions and analysis, be sure to tune in to the Cubs On Tap podcast on all major platforms.