John Lackey (7-5, 3.50 ERA) got off to a shaky start – he tossed 54 pitches in the first two innings – and he never could get it right. He gave up runs in each of the first four innings as the Chicago Cubs (52-31) took on the Cincinnati Reds (31-54) at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Reds posted six runs in those four innings and went on to beat the Cubs 9-5 (Box Score).
The Cubs offense came alive in this one and, for a few innings, made it very interesting. They were trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell each hit a home run, with Russell’s scoring two-runs. Suddenly it was a one run game.
In the fourth and fifth innings each team scored, keeping it a one-run game going into the seventh inning. For the Cubs, that included Addison Russell’s second home run of the game and the second time that he managed to cut the lead to one run.
The Cubs bullpen failed big time in this one though. While Lackey did not pitch effectively – he had tremendous difficulty finding the zone, walking five – when he left the game his team still had a fighting chance. For their part, the bullpen allowed three runs on four hits and two walks.
Stats that mattered
- Lackey was off all game – 6.0IP, 6R, 6H, 5BB, 4Ks, 1HR
- The Bullpen, namely Travis Wood and Pedro Strop, couldn’t stop the bleeding – 3IP, 3R, 4H, 2BB, 2Ks, 1HR
- Addison Russell had a heck of a game – 2-for-4, 2R, 3RBI, 2HR
- Cubs’ pitchers allowed 9 hits and 7 walks – not good by any stretch
This was an ugly loss all the way around. The positive was Addison Russell’s performance. He stole the show for the Cubs. Joe Maddon got tossed in the second inning for arguing a called strike by the umpire, so clearly he must have foreseen that this one was going to be better off spent in the clubhouse than the dugout.
The Cubs close out their final home stand before the all-star break on Wednesday as they take on the Reds at 1:20 PM CDT. Adam Warren is slotted to spot start for the Cubs.