It was a somber mood at Wrigley Field Thursday as the Cubs wrapped up their homestand against the Reds. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were out of the lineup and didn’t enter the game as pinch hitters as trade rumors swirled around them. As for the actual game, it was more of the same issues in another Reds victory.
Joey Votto stayed incredibly hot, hitting a two-run homer in the top of the 1st to give his team the lead. Cubs starter Alec Mills calmed down from there and went the next four innings without allowing any more runs to score.
A pair of home runs put the Cubs ahead in middle innings. Patrick Wisdom launched a solo shot off of Luis Castillo in the 4th and Willson Contreras mashed a very long two-run bomb to center the following frame to make it 3-2.
Mills had an unlucky 6th inning featuring several well-placed singles and an error that allowed the Reds to take the lead. Cincinnati blew the game open the next inning when they scored three runs against Trevor Megill. The Cubs never threatened again until Ian Happ hit a meaningless solo homer in the 9th and made a 7-4 defeat. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Wisdom committed an error on a groundball to first in the 6th that allowed Cincinnati to load the bases with none out. Catcher Tucker Barnhart followed with a two-run single to give his team a 4-3 edge.
Stats That Matter
- Mills was better than his numbers would indicate, generating weak contact that seemed found holes: 6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 9 H, 0 K, and 0 BB.
- Javy Báez had two singles as he returned to the lineup from his heel injury.
- Contreras’ home run was the longest of his career according to Statcast.
Welp, this is it. The next time the Cubs play they will be a much different looking group. It would’ve been nice for Bryant and Rizzo to play, especially since we now know it was Rizzo’s last game as a Cubs. The team obviously did not want to risk an injury at the last minute, but it still feels a bit hollow.
Some version of the Cubs will start a three-game series in Washington DC on Friday at 6:05pm CT. Trevor Williams faces a yet to be announced Nationals pitcher in a game televised on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and with the radio feed on 670 The Score.