Cubs 16 Reds 6
Well. That was embarrassing.
What a debacle Wednesday night at Wrigley Field as the Reds defense melted down and the bullpen imploded in a 16-6 loss to the Cubs.
Reds pitching has now allowed 37 hits, 12 homers and 36 runs over the last two nights. How bad did it get? Catcher Luke Maile pitched for the second consecutive night.
Believe it or not, the Reds actually had leads of 3-0 in the 2nd inning and 5-2 in the 4th behind two Joey Votto home runs and a Spencer Steer blast.
They also had a fresh bullpen to work with and The Brewers had lost earlier in the day. But it was all for naught.
The Cubs broke a 5-5 tie in the 6th when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times. They added four more in the 7th inning. The Reds defense committed four errors in that two inning span, one by Joey Votto and three by Nick Senzel, leading to four unearned runs.
Now, it's up to Luke Weaver to get the Reds a split in the series Thursday night. The Reds lead in the NL Central is 0.5 over the Brewers and 3.0 over the Cubs.
Brandon Williamson. 4.1 IN, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 77 pitches/50 strikes. David Bell got aggressive in the 5th after Williamson put two on. Facing the Cubs order for the 3rd time, and due to face Morel again, Bell pulled the plug with the Reds up 5-3. Williamson was not pleased, throwing his mitt against the dugout wall. Buck Farmer entered and promptly allowed a Morel double off the ivy to plate a run. Both inherited runners eventually scored to make it 5-5. Williamson's pitch count climbed early with some 'squeezing' from the home plate umpire. He led 3-0 into the 3rd before Christian Morel's 414-foot two-run bolt made it 3-2. Dansby Swanson yanked him deep with a solo shot in the 4th.
The two teams combined to hit nine home runs. Cubs (5) Morel, Swanson, Happ (2), Suzuki. Reds (4) Votto 2, Steer, Friedl.
Early response: Fresh off Tuesday night's pasting, Steer put the Reds up 2-0 in the 1st inning with his 16th homer.
Votto bombs: A 421-footer into the bushes in CF in the 2nd inning. Then a 386-foot two run blast in the 4th. That's 11 HR in 34th game. Per C. Trent: He matched his home run total from 2022 — in 244 fewer plate appearances. He has multiple hits in three straight games.
-Per ESPN Stats & Info: Votto now has 50 career HR vs the Cubs, becoming the 3rd player in Reds history with 50 HR vs a single opponent along with Frank Robinson (Cubs, Braves) and Johnny Bench (Braves).
-He passed Ryan Braun and Ellis Burks on the all-time HR list and moved into a tie with Tori Hunter for 94th all-time.
-That's 26 career homers in 117 games at Wrigley.
Yikes: Senzel made two strong plays at 3B in the 2nd inning. But made two terrible throws for errors and booted another ball. He threw wide of Votto at 1B with two outs in the 6th and two unearned runs scored to make it 10-5. He sailed a throw over Votto's head the led to another run. A botched grounder allowed yet another run to cross.
Bullpen: Buck Farmer 0.2, 2 R, + 2 inherited runners scored.... Lucas Sims 0.2 IN, 3 R, 1 ER....Alex Young 1.0, 4 R, 2 ER.....Derek Law 0.1.....Luke Maile 1.0,
2 HR. Farmer threw 24 points and Alex Young 31, which makes you think both won't be available Thursday night.
Learning experience: Reds OF are certainly still learning the brick and ivy of Wrigley this series. CF Stuart Fairchild had trouble with the Morel RBI double off the ivy in the 5th.
How the Reds scored:
1st: Steer 2-run HR, scored Newman, 2-0 Reds
2nd: Votto HR, 3-0 Reds
4th: Votto 2-run HR, 5-2, Reds
7th: Friedl HR, 10-6 Cubs
Transaction: The Reds placed Ben Lively on the IL (right pectoral strain) and recalled Daniel Duarte.
Down on the Farm: Tejay Antone, rehabbing at Louisville, retired all three batters with a K on 11 pitches.