Yu Darvish threw six pretty good innings Friday night, allowing only four hits and no walks, striking out nine.
That would usually be the lede to a story about a Cubs win. Unfortunately, three of those four hits the Reds got off Darvish were home runs, and the Cubs offense also disappeared Friday, leading to a 5-2 defeat.
Things started out well, though. Nicholas Castellanos continued his unbelievable hot streak [VIDEO].
Nine games as a Cub. .405/.450/.892 (15-for-37) with six doubles, four home runs and 10 runs. Keep up the great work!
One inning later, the Reds had the lead when Aristides Aquino hit a two-run homer off Darvish. Aquino, called up to the Reds when they traded Yasiel Puig to the Indians, has been even hotter than Castellanos, hitting four home runs in eight games and 24 at-bats. The Cubs will need a better scouting report on him.
Two innings later, Eugenio Suarez, who has just demolished Cubs pitching all year, homered off Darvish. It was his 31st of the year, and sixth off the Cubs, against whom he’s hitting .368/.406/.754 this season. Again, someone’s got to figure out how to get that guy out.
The third Reds homer of the night came in the sixth courtesy of Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman isn’t having a great year, but is hitting Cubs pitching at a .322/.369/.458 clip this season. Votto and Suarez have been doing this for years:
Most career HR vs #Cubs (active players)— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 10, 2019
57 Albert Pujols
39 Ryan Braun
35 JOEY VOTTO - one tonight
23 Andrew McCutchen
21 EUGENIO SUÁREZ - one tonight
20 Jay Bruce
Darvish threw 59 strikes in 78 pitches over his six innings, efficient pitching, at least. This was a good outing, I thought, despite the home runs. Overall he’s had outstanding command over his last seven outings:
Yu Darvish has 53 strikeouts and 2 walks over his last 7 starts #Cubs— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 10, 2019
And the Cubs simply could not do anything with Trevor Bauer. He allowed just two hits other than Castellanos’ home run and struck out 11.
Steve Cishek was touched up for a run in the seventh to make it 5-1 Reds.
The Cubs did have a chance in the eighth. They loaded the bases with nobody out on walks by Castellanos and Jason Heyward and a single by Kris Bryant. Unfortunately, this was the only run that scored [VIDEO].
Now, you know things must be bad if I’m showing you video of a bases-loaded hit by pitch, but that kind of summed up the Cubs offense in this one.
Give credit to Bauer. He’s a good pitcher, and Cubs hitters have had trouble with him in the past. As for Darvish:
Was tonight's outing frustrating for Darvish?— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 10, 2019
Yu: "Yeah. No walks. Nine strikeouts. Only four hits. And three [bleeping] homers. That sucks."
That pretty much sums up this game. Unfortunately, the Brewers and Cardinals both won Friday night, so the Cubs’ lead was trimmed to 2½ games over Milwaukee and three over St. Louis.
The Cubs and Reds will go at it again Saturday in Cincinnati, with Kyle Hendricks on the mound for the Cubs and Sonny Gray for the Reds. Game time is again 6:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via WGN.