Game Seventy-Six: Cubs 1, Reds 4
WP – Mat Latos (1-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (5-8) Save – Aroldis Chapman (14)
Edwin Jackson had another rough night while the offense managed only one run off Mat Latos as the Cubs dropped the rubber game of the series to the Reds Wednesday night.
Edwin Jackson really struggled with himself again. Jackson failed to complete six innings and his string of non-quality starts continued. The last time Edwin Jackson gave up three runs or less and completed at least six innings was back on May 17. The Reds jumped on Jackson in the first inning and if not for a perfect relay from Nate Schierholtz to Darwin Barney to John Baker that cut down Joey Votto at the plate to end the first inning, Jackson’s final line would have been a lot worse.
The offense managed to scratch out a run in the fourth and tied the game, but Edwin Jackson issued a leadoff walk in the sixth to Todd Frazier and before Jackson could record an out, the Reds took the lead.
Edwin Jackson turned the game over to the pen with one out in the sixth and ended up being charged with four runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts after the Reds squeezed in the fourth run against James Russell. Jackson threw 95 pitches, 53 for strikes, in 5 1/3 innings. In 16 starts this season, Edwin Jackson has thrown 100 or more pitches in a single start four times.
James Russell did not allow a hit or a run in his 1 2/3 innings. Justin Grimm pitched a scoreless eighth and Carlos Villanueva worked around a leadoff double by Skip Schumaker in the ninth without allowing the Reds to add to their lead.
The Cubs offense was non-existent for the most part. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Ryan Sweeney (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) in the fourth and tied the game at one. Mat Latos dominated the Cubs as he has throughout his career. The Cubs managed six hits and no walks Wednesday night.
Justin Ruggiano (1-for-1 with a double) doubled with two outs in the ninth against Aroldis Chapman. Darwin Barney (1-for-3) and Luis Valbuena (1-for-4) collected the Cubs other two hits.
The Cubs lost for the 19th time in 22 games to the Reds at Wrigley Field (3-19) and with Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 32-44 on the season.
The Reds jumped out to an early lead Wednesday night … and it could have been worse. Todd Frazier blooped a single into left center with one out. Frazier swiped second on a 1-2 pitch to Votto. Edwin Jackson walked Joey Votto and put two on with one out for the red-hot Devin Mesoraco. The Reds catcher flied out to left center for the second out. Jay Bruce pulled a double into the right field corner. Frazier scored easily and Votto was waived in. Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney combined on a perfect relay to John Baker. Votto was cut down at the plate to end the inning (9-4-2). Edwin Jackson threw 19 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing against Mat Latos in the first inning … and after one, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
The game remained 1-0 Reds until the bottom of the fourth.
Ryan Sweeney led off the fourth with a double to left. Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before pulling a grounder down the first baseline. Joey Votto fielded the ball, turned and threw to Latos at first for the out. Sweeney advanced to third on the play. Bryan Price pulled his infield in and Starlin Castro grounded a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Sweeney scored and tied the game at one. Luis Valbuena cued a 0-2 pitch off the end of the bat toward third. Valbuena reached on an infield single. With runners on first and second with one out, Schierholtz popped out to short for the second out. And Baker popped out to second to end the inning. Mat Latos needed 74 pitches, 53 for strikes, to get through four innings.
The Cubs and Reds were tied at one after four innings.
Edwin Jackson took the hill for the sixth inning with the game tied at one. Jackson issued a leadoff walk to Todd Frazier and the game quickly got away from the Cubs. Frazier took off for second on a 3-1 pitch to Votto. Edwin Jackson split the middle of the plate with a fastball. Joey Votto drove the ball into the left field corner. Frazier scored easily, 2-1 Reds, and Votto stopped at second. Devin Mesoraco blooped a single into left center. Votto had to hold and advanced only to third. With runners on the corners and no outs, Jackson fell behind Jay Bruce. Bruce ripped a 3-2 pitch off Valbuena’s glove at third and into left. Votto scored, 3-1 Reds. Bruce ended up at second and the Reds had runners on second and third with no outs. Renteria brought his infield in. Jackson struck out Chris Heisey swinging for the first out. Renteria went to his pen and replaced Jackson with James Russell. Bryan Price called for the suicide squeeze. Skip Schumaker pushed the bunt past the mound (third base side) as Mesoraco raced in … 4-1 Reds. Russell intentionally walked Zack Cozart. Latos popped out to Schierholtz in shallow right to end the inning.
Starlin Castro reached on a two-out single in the sixth, but that was all for the Cubs.
The Reds had a commanding 4-1 lead after six innings.
And that is the way the game ended. The Cubs offense went quickly and quietly over their last three at bats and only managed a Justin Ruggiano pinch-hit double with two down in the ninth against Aroldis Chapman.
The Cubs open a four-game series with the Nationals at Wrigley on Thursday night (7:05pm CDT). Travis Wood is scheduled to face Doug Fister in the opener.