CINCINNATI, OH –
The Cubs returned to action tonight following an off-day on Thursday to take on the Reds in Cincinnati. The Cubs look to rebound while on this road trip, considering how rocky their previous home stand was. The pitching matchup tonight featured Jon Lester (0-0) vs. Tim Adleman (0-0).
Before we get started, lets take a quick look at a fan’s take on the Reds attendance in tonight’s game:
He has a point.
After a relatively quiet opening inning, Javier Baez lead off the second inning with a double. Baez was then picked off while trying to advance to third, leaving pitcher Jon Lester no choice but to strikeout.
In the bottom of the third, Lester loaded the bases with two outs, setting up a pivotal duel with Joey Votto. Lester eventually won the battle versus Votto, forcing a routine fly-out to center field. In the top of the fourth, Jason Heyward launched his first home run of the season, continuing his solid start to the 2017 season. But the Cubs wouldn’t maintain the lead for long as the Reds struck back in the bottom half of the fourth. Zack Cozart doubled off Lester, scoring Eugenio Suarez from second following a double of his own. Pitcher Tim Adleman then surprisingly doubled to deep center, I mean he really got a hold of this one. Cozart and Tucker Barnhart scored on the knock, giving Cincy the lead 3-1.
In the fifth, the Cubs and Reds traded solo home runs from Adam Duvall and Javier Baez. Heading into the sixth, Cincinnati controlled the lead 4-2. Lester’s night would come to an end in the sixth, replaced by Justin Grimm. Lester’s finally numbers are as follows: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4R/4ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Grimm couldn’t seem to get ahead of any hitters and consequently loaded the bases before walking Jose Peraza, scoring Barnhart. Not a good look for the already struggling Cubs bullpen. Grimm, after forcing yet another 3-2 count with bases loaded, forced Votto to line out to center, ending the inning.
Brian Duensing made an appearance in the eighth, holding the Reds scoreless, improving his ERA. Michael Lorenzen pitched the eighth and was one out away from ending the game in the ninth until Anthony Rizzo decided otherwise. Rizzo took a Lorenzen fastball to deep right, barely getting over the wall, tying the game at 5-5. Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber were on base when Rizzo went yard.
Jason Heyward: 1-5, 2B, HR, RBI, R
Javy Baez: 2-4, HR, RBI, R
Anthony Rizzo: 1-4, 3R-HR, 3 RBI, R
Eugenio Suarez: 2-4, 2B, R
Tim Adleman: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI
Jason Heyward stroked his first home run of the year tonight, continuing his strong start to the 2017 season. Javy Baez also homered and had a big night offensively causing debate whether or not he should be the everyday second basemen.
Well, after only allowing two runs all season, Jon Lester gave up four earned runs, throwing 108 pitches in the process. Lester is still seeking his first win on the year and will have to wait another week to get it. The Cubs bullpen seemed to pick up right where it left off earlier this week, immediately struggling when called upon in the sixth. Justin Grimm’s control seemed to be an issue throughout his appearance. The Cubs also seemed to have a problem scoring runners in scoring position, well, at least until Rizzo evened up the ball game.
First Pitch: 12:10 PM (CT)
TV: ABC 7, MLBN
Radio: 670 The Score