That game was L-O-N-G. No, it didn’t start on time at 7:15, due to rain, but it did get going around 8:30 PM and didn’t wrap up until more than FOUR hours later (and with a little bit of late, unnecessary stress to boot). But, hey, Cubs win! That’s a series win over the Reds at just the right time. I’m not saying Cincinnati’s season is definitely over, but their hopes for the division are done.
But let’s focus on tonight. Er, well, yesterday.
The Reds began the game by absolutely crushing liners off Adbert Alzolay, who had poor command and was hit hard early and often. And unfortunately, those issues followed him into the next inning, when he gave up another run, putting the Cubs in an early 3-0 deficit. Ultimately, Alzolay lasted just 3.2 IP with 3 earned runs on 3 hits, 2 walks, and a TON of hard contact (we’ll talk about him more tomorrow, it just really wasn’t good).
Fortunately, the Cubs came back as soon as Alzolay left, plating five runs in the fourth inning, two of which came on an infield single by Ian Happ that allowed Nico Hoerner to come around to score from second base – it was an *excellent* send and even better base running by the Cubs second baseman:
Nico time. pic.twitter.com/RiMqtHBJII
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 11, 2020
The Cubs got another run in the inning on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice by Anthony Rizzo – those five runs were tied for the most they’ve scored in an inning this season and were their first runs scored by the Cubs since the 3rd inning on Tuesday.
The Cubs added another two runs the very next inning and that was just enough for the night (the Reds did make things interesting late, which did require an unnecessary appearance from Jeremy Jeffress, but they held on for the win).
Individually, Ian Happ had a very rough night with 4 more strikeouts and Javy Baez continued to struggle (0-5, 3Ks), swinging at god knows what:
What in the world is Javy Baez swinging at. pic.twitter.com/maLrtXnSNf
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 11, 2020
But Willson Contreras went 4-4 with a walk and two doubles (definitely more on him tomorrow), Cameron Maybin went 2-4 with a triple, Bryzzo had a combined 4 hits and two walks, and collectively, the Cubs scored 8 runs on 13 hits and 7 walks, so what’re we gonna complain about?
Oh, there was also this inexplicable moment where David Ross pinch ran for Nico Hoerner … one of the fastest guys on the team, who also happens to be the best defensive option at second base, who also happens to need as much developmental time this year as possible … for Billy Hamilton, who came in and was caught stealing on the very first pitch. It was … odd, especially when they were up four runs in the 7th inning. But again, Cubs win. So whatever.
Big series this weekend. Go get ’em. Go Cubs.