We *almost* got another Amir Garrett-Javy Baez matchup with the game on the line tonight. I don’t know if my heart could’ve handled that, but there he was in the on-deck circle with two outs in the ninth and a runner already on base. Alas. Cubs lose.
The first three innings of the game were all Joey Votto. The Reds long-time first baseman launched two homers off Adbert Alzolay (2 of 3 HRs Alzolay allowed tonight (he’s up to 23 HRs on the year, 4th most in MLB)) then caught a foul fly ball over the tarp before doubling up a tagging Rafael Ortega at home. It was a pretty awesome play, so credit where it’s due (I’m kind of a Joey Votto stan, sorry).
Speaking of Alzolay, it was yet another mixed night. On the one hand, the first three lefties of the game went homer, homer, double (and then Votto homered again), underscoring a problem that has plagued him all season. But on the other hand, he eventually settled down and gave the Cubs 5.0 innings with just those same 4 ER*. Obviously, the issue with lefties is a serious problem, BUT he is developing a cutter on the fly, which could eventually help neutralize the damage (the changeup can help too). I am more than willing to give him the offseason to figure that out. There are so many pieces there. He’s just got put them all together.
*Alzolay has still not allowed more than 4 ER in a start since July 1, 2019 (his debut season), which was the only time he’s allowed more than 4ER in a single game.
Other than that, the Reds hit their fourth home run of the game in the 6th (Eugenio Suarez, of course) and then added a couple more runs in the 9th. Kris Bryant and Patrick Wisdom each went deep in the 9th, but as we discussed, the rally came up short.
And that’s all she wrote. Cubs lose 7-4.