Reds Keep Walking All Over the Cubs at Wrigley – Cubs 4, Reds 6

Game One Hundred Nineteen – Cubs 4, Reds 6 – 11 innings

WP – J.J. Hoover (3-5) LP – Eduardo Sanchez (0-1) Save – Aroldis Chapman (29)

The Cubs battled back from an early deficit and tied the game at four in the seventh on a solo home run by Donnie Murphy. But the Cubs could not score another run and the Reds scored two runs in the 11th off of Eduardo Sanchez. The Reds beat the Cubs at Wrigley for the 14th time in the last 15 games, including eight of the nine games this season.

Eduardo Sanchez had zero command and the Reds scored two times on three walks, one hit and an error from Donnie Murphy in the 11th inning.

Cubs pitching issued eight walks on Tuesday night and four of those free passes scored … and were the difference in the game. Three of the Reds last four runs reached base on walks.

The Cubs dropped to a season-low 15 games under with another loss to the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Jeff Samardzija’s final line looks a lot better than he actually pitched. Jeff Samardzija struggled mightily with his command. Samardzija missed by feet and not inches and did not seem focused at all on Tuesday night. Samardzija labored through a 28-pitch first inning in which only four of his first 12 pitches were strikes. The Reds scored two runs in the first inning and two more in the third off Samardzija.

The Reds scored the go ahead run off of Samardzija in the third inning when he uncorked a wild pitch on ball four to Jay Bruce that allowed Joey Votto to scamper home from third base.

Jeff Samardzija ended up giving some length and completed six innings on Tuesday. Samardzija allowed four runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Samardzija threw 110 pitches, 68 for strikes. Two of the four walks Samardzija issued scored.

The Cubs pen was very good in relief of Samardzija until the final inning. Blake Parker put together his best outing in the big leagues. Parker retired all three batters he faced in the seventh with a pair of strikeouts. Parker struck out both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips swinging.

James Russell, Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg kept the Reds off the board for three innings.

The Cubs’ offense put runs on the board on Tuesday. All four of the Cubs’ runs scored via the longball. Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) tied the game at two in the second inning with his 16th homer of the season. Dioner Navarro (2-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored) hit a solo homer in the fourth that cut the Reds’ lead to 4-3. Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a home run) then tied the game off Homer Bailey in the seventh with a solo shot into the bleachers in right field.

The Cubs managed only seven hits, three left the park, and three walks. The Cubs went 0-for-4 with RISP and left five men on base while the Reds’ pitching staff struck out 11 batters on Tuesday.

The Cubs have lost nine of ten at Wrigley and dropped to 52-67 on the season with Tuesday night’s extra innings loss (7-4 in extra innings).

Jeff Samardzija unfortunately picked up on Tuesday night where he left off in Philadelphia. Samardzija walked Shin-Soo Choo on five pitches to start his night. Frazier flied out to left center (2-1 pitch) for the first out. Joey Votto pulled a 1-0 pitch into the right field corner. Choo held at third on Votto’s double. With runners on second and third and only one out, Samardzija fell behind Brandon Phillips then could not put him away. Phillips lined a 3-2 pitch (tenth pitch of the at bat) past a diving Castro and into left center. Castro appeared to misplay the ball. Choo scored, 1-0 Reds. Votto advanced to third on the play.

Jay Bruce hit a 0-1 pitch weakly to Barney. Phillips advanced to second on the play as Votto scored … 2-0 Reds. Samardzija struck out Paul swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Samardzija threw 28 pitches in the first, 16 for strikes.

Homer Bailey hit David DeJesus with a 0-1 pitch to start the Cubs’ first. But Lake rapped into a 5-4 fielder’s choice and Rizzo grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Bailey threw only seven pitches in the first inning, five for strikes.

Samardzija made quick work of Cozart (grounder to short) and Hanigan (lineout to let) and it appeared Samardzija might be able to get his pitch count under control. But he walked Homer Bailey on five pitches. Choo flied out to deep center (3-2 pitch) to end the inning … on just about any other night, that ball would have been long gone. Instead, Lake caught the ball and ended the inning. Samardzija needed 43 pitches, 22 for strikes, to complete two innings.

Dioner Navarro led off the second with a single to right (3-2 pitch). And Nate Schierholtz launched a 1-1 pitch from Bailey into the bleachers in right field. Schierholtz’s 16th homer of the season tied the game at two. Castro flied out to right, Murphy struck out swinging and Barney flied out to center to end the inning. Bailey threw 30 pitches in two innings, 20 for strikes.

At the end of two, the game was tied at two.

Samardzija retired Frazier on a flyout to right to start the third. Joey Votto then looked a four-straight out of the zone. With Votto at first on a free pass, Brandon Phillips singled to right. Votto held at second with one out. Samardzija then forgot all about Votto before a 0-1 pitch to Bruce. Votto got a running lead and the Reds pulled off a double steal. With runners on second and third, Samardzija continued to struggle with his command. Bruce worked a full count then took ball four in the dirt. The ball skipped past Navarro and Votto scampered home with the go ahead run. Phillips advanced to third and the Reds had runners on the corners for Xavier Paul. Samardzija jammed Paul on a 0-1 pitch and broke his bat. But Paul rolled the ball out toward short. Castro fielded the ball and instead of taking it to the bag and throwing to first. Castro made an awkward flip to Barney, who barely got a foot on the bag before making a wild throw to first. Phillips scored, 4-2 Reds and Paul held at first. Samardzija struck out Cozart swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning. Samardzija needed 68 pitches, 36 for strikes, to complete three innings.

Jeff Samardzija led off the third with a single to center. Bailey then retired DeJesus (flyout to left), Lake (swinging strikeout) and Rizzo (flyout to left center) to end the inning. Bailey threw 44 pitches, 28 for strikes, in three innings.

Jeff Samardzija worked his way out of a jam in the fourth and did not allow the Reds to tack on. Ryan Hanigan led off with a single to right. Bailey bunted Hanigan to second with one out. Samardzija caught Choo looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Todd Frazier then reached on an infield single to the hole at second. Samardzija did not pitch to his defense. Barney ran about 45 feet to field the grounder and his throw to first was just a little late … replays showed Frazier was out. With runners on the corners and two down, Votto popped out to Murphy near the mound (2-2 pitch) to end the inning … 86 pitches for Samardzija after four innings, 49 for strikes.

Dioner Navarro led off the fourth with a solo homer (3-2 pitch) down the right field line. Navarro’s tenth longball of the season cut the Reds lead to 4-3. Bailey retired Schierholtz (flyout to left), Castro (flyout to right center) and Murphy (grounder to third) in order to end the inning.

The Reds led 4-3 after four innings.

The game remained 4-3 Reds through the fifth and sixth innings. Samardzija stayed in and gave his team some length. Samardzija needed 101 pitches, 60 for strikes, to complete five innings and the thought was that he would not come back out for the sixth. Samardzija stayed in and retired the Reds in order in the sixth.

Blake Parker put together his best inning at the big league level in the seventh. Parker struck out two of the three batters he faced (Votto and Phillips). And the game went to the bottom of the seventh with the Cubs down by one run.

Donnie Murphy led off the seventh and drove a 0-1 pitch toward right. Bruce kept drifting and drifting. The ball left the yard and Murphy’s surprising opposite field homer tied the game at four. Barney flied out to left for the first out.

Logan Watkins hit for Blake Parker and worked a walk. DeJesus walked and put runners on first and second with one out. Dusty Baker decided that was enough for Homer Bailey and went to his pen for Sam LeCure.

Junior Lake struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) and Baker went back to his pen for lefty Manny Parra to face Anthony Rizzo. With two on and two down, Rizzo struck out swinging to end the inning.

At the end of seven, the game was tied at four.

James Russell and Pedro Strop retired the Reds in order in the eighth.

Manny Parra stayed in for the eighth. Navarro flied out to left and Schierholtz struck out swinging. Baker went to his pen for J.J. Hoover to face Castro and double-switched Cesar Izturis at short. Hoover struck out Castro swinging to end the inning … and the game went to the ninth tied at four.

Pedro Strop started the ninth and walked Ryan Hanigan (3-2 pitch). Devin Mesoraco ran for Hanigan. Cesar Izturis squared to bunt and did … but right in front of the plate. Navarro picked up the bunt and threw out Mesoraco at second for the first out. Strop caught Choo looking at a 0-2 pitch for the second out. Frazier flied out to Lake to end the inning.

J.J. Hoover stayed in for the ninth … and retired the Cubs in order.

The game went to the tenth tied at four.

Kevin Gregg retired three of the four batters he faced in the tenth with two strikeouts … and J.J. Hoover gave up a leadoff single to DeJesus in the tenth. But Lake could not get the bunt down and Rizzo grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.

The game went to the 11th all tied at four.

Eduardo Sanchez walked pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick on four pitches to start the 11th inning. A 0-1 pitch to Mesoraco skipped past Navarro and Ludwick moved up ninety feet. Sanchez walked Mesoraco and put runners on first and second with no outs. Cesar Izturis pushed a bunt toward third that Murphy tried to field and throw before he had the ball. The ball rolled past him and the Reds had the bases loaded with no outs.

Shin-Soo Choo ripped Sanchez’s first pitch into right center. Ludwick and Mesoraco scored, 6-4 Reds. Sanchez then walked Frazier to reload the bases for Joey Votto. Dale Sveum brought his infield in. Votto pulled a 3-2 pitch right to Rizzo. Rizzo threw home and forced Izturis. Navarro completed the 3-2-3 double play. Sanchez struck out Phillips swinging to end the inning.

Aroldis Chapman retired the Cubs in order to end the game.

Chris Rusin faces Bronson Arroyo in the finale with the Reds on Wednesday afternoon.

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  • GaryLeeT

    Samardzija’s shtik of having promise, but rarely delivering, is getting old. I would much rather watch guys with more promise, like Arrieta, or even Rusin.

    • Brp921

      I think Samardzija is really pressing. I think he wants to show he’s a top of the rotation pitcher so bad that it’s affecting his control, making it worse than it was to begin with. Hopefully he can relax at some point and realize his potential, whether it be an ace or just a decent major league starter.

      • John_CC

        The irony here is that a big part of being a top of rotation starter is the ability to excel under pressure.

        I believe Samardzija let the departure of Feldman and then Garza really effect him. He needs support in veteran pitchers around him, which is unfortunate given his age. He is supposed to be “that guy” now. I don’t know if he can be.

        • Brp921

          Good point about excelling under pressure. I would have to agree. I won’t give up on the possibility of him finally putting it all together, but I am slowly losing the confidence I once had in him doing it.

        • 07GreyDigger

          That’s a good point. He was really mad when they traded both of them.