Ivy’s Recap: You’ve got Reds on you

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The Chicago Cubs won their last series, and entered the series with the Cincinnati Reds with a shot at taking first place.  So how did they do?  Well…

Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

4/13: W

Cubs 7, Reds 6

W: Rondon (1-0) L: Parra (0-1)

Jorge Soler

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” ― Cassandra Clare

4/14: L

Reds 3, Cubs 2

W: DeSclafani (1-0) L: Arrieta (1-1)

Despite the loss there were still a lot of positive things to take away. For example, this team not giving up and fighting until the last out…besides lazy Starlin Castro, of course (I kid, I kid). Also, the great at bats and patience that they showed at the plate. Like Joe Maddon said after the game:

“If we keep giving that kind of effort, I’ll be very happy. Good things are gonna happen.”

The Cubs were unable to find a way to get to Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani, who was brilliant; pitching seven scoreless innings and only giving up two hits. The Cubs did make it interesting after his exit, DeSclafani was replaced in the eighth inning by former Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, who walked Matt Szczur before allowing pinch-hitter Welington Castillo’s two-run homer. I don’t about you guys but I’m starting to love this whole 3-catcher situation, by the way. Gregg was replaced by Tony Cingrani, who allowed a two-out single to Anthony Rizzo and a walk to Jorge Soler before striking out Chris Coghlan to end the threat. In the bottom of the ninth, the chances for the Cubs didn’t look so good. Aroldis Chapman, who is possibly the best closer in the game today took the mound. Starlin Castro had a leadoff single, Matt Szczur walked but Chapman struck out David Ross and Mike Olt to convert his third save and end the Reds three-game losing streak.

The Reds offense scored three runs in the fourth against Jake Arrieta, who dominated Cincinnati last season taking no-hitters into the seventh inning twice. He was coming off a great outing, pitching seven scoreless innings in his first start of the year against the Cardinals but didn’t match that outing on Tuesday. Arrieta went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out five and allowed an earned run for the first time since September 2014.

4/15: W

Cubs 5, Reds 0

W: Wood (1-1) L: Marquis (0-1)

Travis Wood is looking to return to form after a rough season last year and Wednesday’s outing proved that he’s on the right track. He finished last year 8-13 with a 5.03 ERA. On Wednesday, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up only three hits. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before he walked Joey Votto with one out in the fourth but the Reds’ didn’t cash in. Former Cub Jason Marquis took the mound for Cincinnati and allowed all five runs, four earned on seven hits in four innings. The Cubs offense took off right away. Dexter Fowler, who was leading off began the inning with a double and next batter Anthony Rizzo, followed with a two run homer into the right-field bleachers. They would add on two more in the second and one more in the fourth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Miguel Montero. The Cubs have now won two of their first three series; they did not win their first series last year until May 2-4.

Not so good news: reliever Neil Ramirez didn’t feel quite right, throwing just three pitches (all balls) under his usual velocity before he was removed from the game with a shoulder injury.  We’ll update when we know more, but losing Ramirez for too long could hurt although the Cubs have plenty of bullpen depth.

Next up for the Cubs:

San Diego Padres @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

After an off-day Thursday, the Cubs will host the Padres for a three-game series at Wrigley Field. They will try to continue to build on the solid start they currently have and who knows, this might be the weekend we finally see Kris Bryant (UPDATE: OMG he’s here), but I’m sure you guys haven’t heard of him before. The Cubs have won four of five after the win over the Reds on Wednesday.

Remember the guy who chose the Padres over the Cubs during the offseason? Yes, James Shields will take the mound for the Padres. Shields (1-0, 2.08 ERA) hasn’t faced the Cubs since 2008 and he’ll be looking to beat his former manager. The Padres (6-4) have won five of six after Justin Upton hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning for the 3-2 win over Arizona on Wednesday. Justin Upton is batting .351 with three homers in ten games. Jason Hammel will start for the Cubs. He is coming off a strong start where he got the win in a 9-5 victory over Colorado. Hammel had one start against the Padres last season where he gave up 3 runs in 5 2/3 innings.

 

Friday, April 17, 1:20 PM CDT

James Shields, RHP vs. Jason Hammel, RHP

Saturday, April 18, 1:20 PM CDT

Tyson Ross, RHP vs. Kyle Hendricks, RHP

Sunday, April 19, 1:20 PM CDT

Andrew Cashner, RHP vs. Jon Lester, LHP

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Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!

-Ivy

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