Ivy is out and about, so I’m going to help out with this series recap. Hopefully this won’t suck. The Reds, as of today, are 7th in the majors in scoring at 4.82 runs per game and 4th in the majors at preventing runs, limiting their opponents to 3.58 runs per game. It’s not surprising that they are once again challenging the Cardinals for the National League Central lead.
Friday, May 24 – Reds 7, Cubs 4
This could have been a Cubs victory, except for the part where the Reds ultimately scored more than the Cubs did. Scott Feldman was dealing early, even helping himself with a very surprising 2-run homer. And then the wheels came off as Feldman couldn’t stop the well-oiled Cincinnati offense from a big fourth inning in which they hit two homers and scored five runs. The Cubs never led again after that. The big inning and poor offense continues to haunt the Cubs this season.
Saturday, May 25 – Reds 5, Cubs 2
Travis Wood was cruising along through the first five innings, and we’re already happy with the trade that brought him to Chicago in exchange for former Cubs legend Sean Marshall (who is currently on the disabled list again). The bad inning and poor offense, however, once again hurt the Cubs as Wood lost his consecutive quality starts streak to open the season, exiting with two outs in the fifth and having given up all the runs the Reds needed for the day. Considering the overall excellence of the Reds’ lineup, it was still a solid start, just not good enough for this Cubs squad. The margin of error is razor-thin and unfortunately, the Cubs exceeded that margin today when Wood ran out of steam in the sixth and elevated a couple of pitches that were punished. Did I mention that Wood still kept Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto at bay despite both having legendary on-base percentages so far? I’m easily impressed.
Sunday, May 26 – Cubs 5, Reds 4 F/10
There was an incident during this game with Johnny Cueto, but the real story here was the part where the Cubs actually WON. It didn’t look very promising as Cueto kept the Cubs’ anemic offense silent for much of his seven innings of work. However, once the bullpen was summoned, the Cubs got the runs they needed off Logan Ondrusek to send the game to extras. Welington Castillo powered a double past Todd Frazier to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 10th, and Kevin Gregg (!!!!) got the save. The bullpen saved the day after Matt Garza left after four laborious innings, and despite Kyuji Fujikawa getting hurt and probably getting DL’d again, the relief crew didn’t let any Reds cross the plate for six innings. Impressive.
Four games against the White Sox, two at the Cell, then two at Wrigley and we’re done with the South Siders until next year…or until the Cubs meet the Sox in the World Series. Ha ha!
But seriously, a couple of the Sox broadcasts are on WGN and I’d recommend muting the TV and listening to Pat Hughes (happy birthday, Pat!) and Keith Moreland instead. Because Hawk Harrelson makes me want to hurt small animals.