You know, for a game like this I’d normally try to deflect with humor, or a do-it-yourself recap, or something to take your mind off a 10-2 Cubs loss to the Reds.
Unfortunately, we have something bad to think about, and that’s the apparent injury suffered by Kris Bryant in a collision with Jason Heyward during the sixth inning [VIDEO].
Bryant got charged with a tough error on that play, which really should have been Heyward’s ball all the way. Here’s what we know about KB as of the time of this recap:
Bryant still under evaluation. Was hit on side of the head/neck, per Maddon. No firm details yet.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 26, 2019
It looked like Heyward’s arm hit Bryant on the “side of the head/neck.” We can only hope this isn’t a concussion. The team has to fly out to Houston shortly and Bryant, like the rest of the team, is supposed to be on that flight. As always, we await developments. KB left the game, and an inning later Heyward did as well, though I suspect J-Hey’s departure was more due to the 7-0 score at the time.
Really, there’s not much more to say about this one other than Jose Quintana was serving up too many hits. Four hits before he recorded an out produced two runs in the first inning, and three more hits in the third gave the Reds a 3-0 lead. Even though 3-0 in the middle innings is not usually an insurmountable lead, the Cubs gave no indication that they were going to score anything off Tanner Roark. They left RISP in the first and third innings, with Anthony Rizzo thrown out at the plate to end the third. I thought that was a bad send. Here, you make the call [VIDEO].
Only a couple of double plays held the score even as close as it was until Quintana started getting hit even harder in the sixth. He was removed for Carl Edwards Jr., and CJ walked the first hitter he faced, allowed a sacrifice fly, and then Suarez hit the ball to right-center, which is where we came in. The Reds wound up with a four-run inning and heading to the bottom of the sixth it was 7-0, well past any real chance of coming back.
But hey, home runs are fun, right? Willson Contreras broke up the shutout in the sixth [VIDEO].
That was Willson’s 12th. Not to be one-upped, Javier Baez also went deep, in the eighth [VIDEO].
That was Javy’s 13th. He went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, but I still see him looking a bit tentative in the field, still slowed down by the heel he hurt a week ago in Washington. There’s an off day Thursday, but I don’t think Javy will sit until then.
With the score 8-2 heading to the ninth, we were entertained by the Cubs’ first position-player pitching appearance of the season by Victor Caratini. Throwing “fastballs” in the mid to upper 60s, he allowed a single, got a force play and a second out on a nice grab by Albert Almora Jr. Then, though, he served up a two-run homer to Curt Casali (Casali’s first of the year) before issuing a walk and getting another fly ball to end the inning. Honestly, it wasn’t the worst pitching outing of the day.
Overall, Reds pitchers threw 172 pitches and Cubs pitchers combined for 174, so it’s no wonder this game slogged on for three hours and 27 minutes. At least the sun came out late in the afternoon and the Cubs managed to get through an entire seven-game homestand without a single rain delay. Now that is an accomplishment in this soggy spring of 2019.
Hey, these kinds of games happen. The Reds have a pretty good offense and a rotation and bullpen that are better than they were a year ago. They cannot be taken for granted, if they ever were.
The Brewers defeated the Phillies Sunday so they trail the Cubs now by 1½ games. The Cubs continue to lead the Pirates by 4½ games, as they lost Sunday to the Dodgers, and the Cardinals will play on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the Braves.
The Cubs’ task will get more difficult beginning Monday as they face the Astros in Houston for a three-game series. The series opener will feature Cole Hamels for the Cubs and Gerrit Cole for the Astros. Game time Monday is 1:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will again be via WGN.
Hang in there, and let’s hope Kris Bryant is just a bit bruised up, nothing worse.