All that stuff you liked about the Pirates series? Not just the wins, but the quality, crisp play? Well, that was the weekend. Today was Monday.
Early in the game, with a 1-0 lead, the Reds had a chance to really do some damage with the bases loaded. But David Bote and Anthony Rizzo combined on a nice play on a Yasiel Puig hot smash to end the threat. Immediately thereafter, Kyle Schwarber homered to tie the game in the bottom of the third, and the Cubs wound up adding a couple from there to carry a 3-1 lead to the 7th. Momentum, right?
Well … in the bottom of the 6th, the Cubs had the bases loaded and one out, but David Bote and Robel Garcia couldn’t put the ball in play against Luis Castillo, and the Reds got out of it. The Reds immediately tied the game on a homer, and wound up adding the lead run on a not-so-comedy of errors by the Cubs. Momentum and such.
The Cubs’ slop gave the Reds two insurance runs in the 8th after a wild pitch and a missed foul pop up contributed to extending the inning. It was ugly, and fit in with the rest of the night, which included Randy Rosario and Brad Brach being tasked with keeping a one-run game in check.
Kyle Hendricks pitched well enough for the win, but the Cubs bats couldn’t do enough against Castillo, and then did nothing of note late. Combine that with the sloppy defense, and it was a mostly comfortable win for the Reds.