I’m going to turn this recap of the Cubs’ 8-2 loss to the Reds Wednesday night into a sort of notes column (sort of like a game preview), because until the Cubs used defensive indifference to break up Cincinnati’s shutout bid, the entire game was pretty indifferent. Plus, you guys are probably more interested in trade chatter anyway. So, here goes:
- THE STARTERS GO ROUND AND ROUND: Zach Davies, six innings, four runs. You know, if the Cubs had any offense, they’d probably win about half the time a starter has an outing like that. But they don’t. Davies did strike out eight, matching his season high. Big whoop.
- VOTTO MATTER: Joey Votto hit two homers for the second consecutive game and now has five in this series, 21 in his career at Wrigley Field (he’ll become the active leader among opponents when Albert Pujols retires) and 44 against the Cubs. Oh, and he’s hitting .448/.541/1.276 (13-for-29) against the Cubs this year with three doubles and seven home runs.
- MAPLE SYRUP: I have long had an irrational like for Dillon Maples, who has electric stuff and a slider that can completely fool hitters. But... I dunno, at this point I’m not sure he’s ever going to get that walk rate down and since his return from the IL: five innings, three hits, five walks, three hit batters. The Cubs are probably going to have to move on.
- HEY, ABBOTT!: Speaking of moving on, I don’t think I want to see any more of Cory Abbott. In the ninth inning he served up a pair of walks, a single, a double and Votto’s aforementioned second home run. It might have been worse if not for this nice diving catch by Ian Happ [VIDEO].
All right, since my normal method in game previews is to have four note points, now I’ll tell you about the Cubs’ ninth inning, because before that the offense looked beyond pathetic. In innings one through eight they had runners past first base only twice and not after the second.
Matt Duffy led off the ninth with a single and took second on defensive indifference. He advanced to third on a groundout, and after Robinson Chirinos struck out, David Bote singled him in [VIDEO].
Then Bote took second on defensive indifference and scored when Happ singled and Reds second baseman Jonathan India made a throwing error [VIDEO].
Happ took second and then third on defensive indifference and now this game was actually getting somewhat entertaining. It only took three and a half hours to get to that point. But Rafael Ortega flied to right to end things, and the Cubs dropped to three games under .500.
What’s it like facing Joey Votto right now? pic.twitter.com/F2FW0C02U7— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 29, 2021
David Ross and Joey Votto were teammates in Cincinnati in 2007 and 2008.
Also somewhat entertainingly, Kris Bryant moved to shortstop when Maples came into the game, with Nico Hoerner departing. It seemed almost as if some scout from another team had said to Jed Hoyer, “Hey, we want to see if Bryant can play short.” But that wasn’t the case:
Ross called it "right oblique tightness" for Nico Hoerner. Would expect that to necessitate someone else playing short for Thursday's day game. Duffy would be an option, if Javy remains out with the left heel issue.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 29, 2021
Yikes, the wheels are falling off. Bryant had played short before, one inning in this 2016 game.
Had enough? Yeah, me too.
Basically, you can use this recap to discuss trade rumors and/or actual trades this morning and afternoon. I suspect we won’t hear about any Cubs trades until after Thursday’s game is over, and perhaps not until Friday morning. At the posting time of this recap the trade deadline is 31 hours away. Should be an interesting time.
In the meantime, the Cubs will attempt to salvage a series split with the Reds Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, where it is supposed to be cooler and less humid after storms went through overnight. Alec Mills will start for the Cubs and Luis Castillo is the scheduled Reds starter. Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.