Game Fifty-Nine – Cubs 4, Reds 5 – 10 innings
WP – J.J. Hoover (5-0) LP – Hector Rondon (3-1) Save – Aroldis Chapman (13)
On a chilly and rather dreary day at Wrigley Field, two errors was the difference Friday afternoon as the Cubs gave a game to the Reds in extra innings.
Defense ended up being the difference Friday and the reason the Cubs lost the game. The Reds made the plays in the field, especially late in the game and the Cubs did not. Errors by Addison Russell and Kris Bryant made three of the five runs the Reds scored unearned.
An error by Addison Russell on a routine grounder in the first inning opened the door to a three-run inning for the Reds. And an error by Kris Bryant in the 10th inning on a routine grounder allowed Todd Frazier to reach and he eventually scored the winning run.
While on the other side, it was a sensational diving catch by Jay Bruce in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the game into extra innings when it appeared pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera had delivered the game winners and the Cubs would be celebrating another walk off win.
Teams cannot give extra outs and expect to win games. To the Cubs credit, they never quit Friday and tied the game in the sixth inning on a two-run homer by Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) after being down 3-0 before swinging a bat.
Jason Hammel did not have it Friday. Hammel could not pick up his defense and gave up three runs in the first inning. Hammel was missing up and the Reds hit the ball rather hard throughout his five-inning start. Friday was the second time this season Hammel issued three walks in the same game, and Friday was the first time since April 22 he allowed more than five hits in a game.
Jason Hammel completed five innings and was charged four runs, two earned, on seven hits with three walks, a HBP and four strikeouts. Hammel made 103 pitches, 65 for strikes.
The Cubs bullpen did its job and kept the Reds off the board. Zac Rosscup, James Russell, Jason Motte and Pedro Strop allowed just one baserunner in the four innings after Hammel left the game.
Hector Rondon could not pitch around the error in the 10th and rather weak contact from the Reds and was hung with the loss. Rondon gave up one unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Rondon made 25 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Jason Hammel (1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in the Cubs’ first run with a two-out single in the second that plated Chris Coghlan. Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a RBI) doubled in Hammel from first in the second inning and made it a one-run game.
Starlin Castro tied the game at four with a long home run to left, a two-run shot with Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk) along for the ride.
Two of the Cubs four runs scored on two-out hits by Hammel and Russell. The Cubs managed eight hits and three walks and finished the afternoon 2-for-7 with RISP while leaving seven men on base.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 32-27 on the season.
The game started on a bad note for the Cubs when Skip Schumaker reached on an error by Addison Russell. Russell misplayed the routine grounder and the Reds pounced on Hammel. Ivan DeJesus Jr. hit a deep fly to left. The ball sailed over Coghlan’s head. Schumaker scored, 1-0 Reds. Joey Votto flied out to left.
Jason Hammel jumped ahead of Frazier 0-2 but could not put him away. Todd Frazier worked a full count before launching a ball to center. DeJesus Jr. scored easily on a double by Frazier and the Reds took a 2-0 lead. Frazier swiped third on a 1-0 pitch to Bruce. Joe Maddon brought his infield in. Hammel struck out Jay Bruce swinging for the second out. Hammel could not get out of the inning without giving up another hit and run. Brayan Pena ripped a 0-1 pitch into right. Frazier trotted in and the Reds took a commanding 3-0 lead.
Hammel continued to struggle and hit Eugenio Suarez in the back with a 1-2 pitch. Johnny Cueto stepped in with runners on first and second with no outs. Cueto wanted nothing to do with swinging the bat in the first inning. Cueto swung, well kinda, at a 0-2 pitch and tapped back to Hammel for the third out.
Jason Hammel made 37 pitches, 25 for strikes, in the first inning.
Kris Bryant singled to left with two outs in the first, but that was all. At the end of one, the Reds had a 3-0 lead.
Jason Hammel worked around a couple of walks in the second inning. Miguel Montero threw out Schumaker, with an assist from Addison Russell, for one of the outs. But the Reds could not take advantage of the free baserunners Hammel gave them … 58 pitches for Hammel after two, 35 for strikes.
Chris Coghlan singled to left with one out in the second. And he moved up 90 feet when the ball skipped past Schumaker in left. Chris Denorfia struck out swinging.
Jason Hammel got one of the runs back he let score in the first inning. Hammel poked a 2-2 pitch into right. Coghlan scored and cut the Reds lead to 3-1. Addison Russell drove a 1-2 pitch into the gap in right center. Hammel scored all the way from first on a double from Russell. Fowler popped a 0-1 pitch down the left field line that Schumaker dove and caught to end the inning.
The Reds had a 3-2 lead after two innings.
Todd Frazier led off the third and lined a 0-2 pitch into the bleachers in left. And the Reds took a 4-2 lead. Bruce lined out to center and Hammel struck out Pena and Suarez to end the inning. Hammel made 73 pitches, 47 for strikes, in three innings.
Johnny Cueto struck out the side in order in the third. And the game went to the fourth with the Reds leading 4-2.
Hammel’s struggles continued in the fourth inning. Johnny Cueto led off the fourth with a single to center. Fowler charged the ball and threw to first base … Cueto made it, but it was close. Hamilton flied out to center. Schumaker singled to right and put two on for DeJesus Jr. Hammel got the ground ball he needed but it was hit too slow to turn two. Castro fielded the ball and flipped to first as Cueto and Schumaker moved to second and third. Hammel intentionally walked Joey Votto to load the bases.
Jason Hammel got away with a couple of mistakes to Frazier and struck him out swinging to end the inning. Hammel got out of the jam. But he made 92 pitches, 58 for strikes, in just four innings.
The Cubs could not cash in a two-out double to right by Chris Denorfia in the fourth. The Reds took the 4-2 lead into the fifth inning.
Jason Hammel worked around a leadoff double by Jay Bruce in the fifth. Hammel really worked to get through the inning. Hammel got the job done when Cueto tapped back to the mound for the third out.
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Zac Rosscup replaced Hammel for the sixth and put a zero on the board.
Kris Bryant led off the sixth with a single to center. Montero advanced Bryant to second with a swinging bunt to Cueto.
Starlin Castro pulled a 1-2 pitch from Cueto down the left field line … and the only question was would it stay fair? The ball sailed out of the park and tied the game at four.
Chris Coghlan popped out to third. Chris Denorfia was hit by a pitch. Maddon sent up Mike Baxter to hit for Rosscup and he struck out swinging to end the inning.
The game was tied at four after six innings.
James Russell completed a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Jason Motte sat down all three batters in the eighth and Pedro Strop put together a three up, three down ninth. And the game went to the bottom of the ninth still tied at four.
Chris Coghlan led off the ninth with an infield single. Chris Denorfia bunted to Votto. Coghlan advanced to second with one out. Jonathan Herrera drove a 2-2 pitch into the gap in right center. Jay Bruce took a perfect route to the ball and made a headlong diving catch for the second out. Bruce saved the game with the catch. Coghlan tagged and went to third. Russell walked but Fowler flied out to Hamilton in center to end the inning.
Hector Rondon started the 10th with the game tied at four. Todd Frazier rolled over a 0-2 pitch that hit off the heel of Bryant’s glove at third. Bryant picked the ball and fired to first. The ball sailed, but did not leave the field. Jay Bruce rolled Rondon’s first pitch into right. Frazier went to third with no outs.
Maddon brought his infield in. Bruce took second with Pena at the plate. Rondon struck out Pena swinging for the first out. With the infield still in, Eugenio Suarez rolled a 3-2 pitch past a diving Castro and into left field. The Reds celebrated as Frazier trotted in with the go ahead run. Rondon struck out Brennan Boesch and Hamilton flied out to right to end the inning.
Aroldis Chapman struck out Rizzo and Bryant before walking Miguel Montero. David Ross ran for Montero. Starlin Castro lined Chapman’s first pitch to Schumaker in left. Ballgame over.
Kyle Hendricks faces Mike Leake under the lights on Saturday night (6:15pm CDT) in game three of four against the mighty Big Red Machine.