Gorzelanny and the Gopher Ball – Cubs 1 Reds 7

Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine – Cubs 1 Reds 7
WP – Johnny Cueto (12-4) LP – Tom Gorzelanny (7-8) Save – None

It was back to reality for the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. The Cincinnati Reds proved they are not the Washington Nationals and Dusty’s bunch handed Mike Quade his first big league loss.

The Cubs offense did very little against Johnny Cueto, while the Reds took batting practice against Tom Gorzelanny.

The Reds hit three homers off Gorzelanny in the first five innings. Jay Bruce hit a pair of dingers … s solo shot in the third and a no-doubter in the fifth that was good for three runs. In typical Cubs’ fashion, rookie Chris Valaika, in his first big league start, ripped the first homer of his career in the fifth. Bruce and Valaika’s back-to-back blasts gave the Reds a commanding 6-1 lead.

Tom Gorzelanny was off from his first pitch of the game. Gorzelanny allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings … with only one strikeout and two walks. Friday marked the first time all season Gorzelanny served up multi-homers in the same game … and the six earned runs was a season-high for the lefty.

Jay Bruce had a huge night and became the third different Red since 2008 to notch a three-homer game off Cubs pitching (Votto in 2008, Stubbs on July 4, 2010). Bruce hit three tape measure shots Friday night, two off Gorzelanny and the other off Scott Maine. Bruce drove in five of the Reds seven runs with his three homers. Friday marked the first three-run homer game of Bruce’s career.

Joey Votto (1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI) and Drew Stubbs (2-for-2 with two doubles, two stolen bases, a run scored and a walk) continued to feast on Cubs pitching Friday night. The Reds managed seven runs on eight hits … seven of the eight Reds hits went for extra bases.

Johnny Cueto dominated the Cubs’ offense. Cueto earned his 12th win of the year with a strong (and unnecessary) eight-inning performance. Cueto struck out eight and did not issue a single walk. Cueto and Sam LeCure combined to strikeout 10 Cubs on Friday night … with issuing a free pass.

While the Reds proved why they are tops in the Central Division, the Cubs showed how far they’ve fallen in less than two years.

The Cubs lone highlight of the night came in the fourth. Tyler Colvin doubled in Xavier Nady … the Cubs only run on six hits. The offense finished 0-for-1 with RISP and left four on base.

Scott Maine made his Major League debut on Friday night and served up the third homer of the night to Jay Bruce. Maine fit right into the Cubs’ pen with another mediocre performance by a Cubs’ rookie pitcher. Maine surrendered one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in an inning of work.

Marcos Mateo struck out the side in the eighth … one of only two innings the Reds were retired in order.

The best part of Friday’s contest was the game lasted only two hours and 14 minutes … It’s a way of Life!

The Reds beat the Cubs for the 11th time in 14 games in Twenty Ten and the loss dropped the Cubs back to 21 games under the mediocre mark …

The Cubs have really struggled against the Central Division this season. Teams have figured them out, while the Cubs have not changed their approach. Good thing the Cubs employee advance scouts … would hate to see the results if they did not. The Cubs are now 22-37 against teams in their division.

Tom Gorzelanny walked Jay Bruce on the ninth pitch of the at bat to start the bottom of the first. Bruce ended up being caught in a rundown on a botched hit and run with Chris Valaika at the plate. Valaika ended up doubling to right center … the first extra base hit of his big league career.

Joey Votto continued his march toward the Triple Crown with a single to center. Valaika scored … 1-0 Reds.

Jay Bruce hit the first of his three blasts with one out in the third. Bruce launched Gorzelanny’s first pitch well over the wall in right. Gorzelanny settled back down and retired both Valaika and Votto to end the inning.

The Cubs finally broke through in the fourth. Xavier Nady singled to right with two outs on a 3-2 pitch and scored on a double to right center by Tyler Colvin … 2-1 Reds.

Gorzelanny would implode in the fifth.

Drew Stubbs led off the inning with his second double of the game. Stubbs stole third with Paul Janish at the plate. Gorzelanny ended up walking Janish on four pitches. Cueto sacrificed Janish to second … but it would not matter.

Jay Bruce stepped in and crushed Gorzelanny’s first pitch deep to right … Colvin barely moved. Bruce’s blast put the Reds up 5-1.

Chris Valaika worked the count to 2-2 before notching his first big league dinger. A solo shot over the wall in left, 6-1 Reds.

Jay Bruce hit his third homer, another long homer, off Scott Maine in the bottom of the seventh.

The Cubs went through the motions after the fifth … and the new manager magic definitely disappeared Friday night in the Queen City.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Randy Wells versus Bronson Arroyo Saturday night. Should be another fun night for the Cubs offense.

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne