Game Seven – Cubs 2, Reds 3
WP – Anthony DeSclafani (1-0) LP – Jake Arrieta (1-1) Save – Aroldis Chapman (3)
Welington Castillo hit a two-run pinch hit homer in the eighth that cut the Reds lead to 3-2. Starlin Castro singled and Matt Szczur walked against Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. With the tying and winning runs on base and one out, Chapman caught David Ross looking and struck out Mike Olt swinging to end the game. And the Cubs dropped the middle game of the set to the Reds on Tuesday night.
The Cubs never quit Tuesday night despite managing only two hits over the first seven innings against Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani. The Cubs woke up in the eighth inning when Bryan Price went to his pen.
Joe Maddon sent up Matt Szczur (two walks and a run scored) to hit for Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-2) in the eighth against former Cubs’ closer Kevin Gregg. Szczur worked a leadoff walk and was along for the ride when Welington Castillo (1-for-1 with a home run and two RBI) pulled Gregg’s first pitch to deep left. Castillo recorded the first pinch-hit homer of his career and made it a one-run game.
Gregg retired Mike Olt (0-for-2) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-4) before Price went to his pen for lefty Tony Cingrani. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) singled to right and Cingrani was left in to walk Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a walk). Cingrani issued the four-pitch intentional, unintentional walk to Soler. With runners on first and second and the Cubs down by a run, Chris Coghlan (0-for-4) struck out swinging to end the inning. Not protecting Jorge Soler took the bat out of his hand.
Jake Arrieta had one bad inning over the 6 2/3 innings he completed on Tuesday night. The Reds made very little hard contact against Arrieta but every ball that was put in play in the three-run fourth inning seemed to find grass and drive in a run.
Jake Arrieta retired the first nine batters he faced to start the night on 41 pitches, 28 for strikes. But poor location and lack of a Major League third baseman cost the Cubs in the fourth, and in turn the game.
Billy Hamilton singled to left to start the fourth, the first hit off Arrieta. Hamilton stole second and scored on a Joey Votto single to right center. Todd Frazier rolled one to short that was not hit hard enough to turn two. Votto was forced at second but Frazier reached and moved to second on a Brandon Phillips single to left center. Jay Bruce singled to left, Frazier scored and the Reds took a 2-0 lead. Bruce was caught in a run down between first and second (7-6-3-4-3-5) for the second out. The throw from Coghlan went to third. A heads up play by Starlin Castro, made it a very close play at third on Brandon Phillips. Once Phillips was called safe, Bruce broke for second and was eventually tagged out.
Marlon Byrd singled to left past a diving Jonathan Herrera and plated Phillips with the Reds’ third and final run of the night.
Jake Arrieta pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Arrieta picked up the first two outs in the seventh before Maddon went to his pen for Zac Rosscup.
Jake Arrieta was charged with three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Arrieta threw 110 pitches, 73 for strikes, in 6 2/3 innings.
Zac Rosscup was sharp in his 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Cubs managed only five hits and five walks and finished the game 0-for-4 with RISP. The Cubs left seven men on base and struck out nine times.
Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with a stolen base) and Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a walk) collected hits in the loss to the Reds.
The end result was not good but it was a fun game to watch. And for the first time in nearly a decade, it didn’t feel like the Cubs were out of the game until the Chapman recorded the 27th out.
The Cubs and Reds wrap up the three-game series on Wednesday night. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Jason Marquis.