Last night, Jay Bruce hit three home runs off of Cubs pitching. It felt like the 100th time in the past few seasons that a Reds player had a three homer game against the Cubs, it was for sure the second time it had happened this season.
A quick search in the BR Play-Index, looking for Reds players having multi-homer games vs. the Cubs since 2007 (why 2007? Joey Votto hit his first career homer against the Cubs that year, that’s why) shows it isn’t as often an occurrence as I had thought.
Shockingly, the Reds have “only” five multi-homer games against the Cubs in that time.
Bruce last night with 3.
Drew Stubbs, July 4th, 2010, three home runs.
Joey Votto, May 7th, 2008, three home runs.
David Ross, July 10th, 2008, two home runs.
Adam Dunn, April 2, 2007, two home runs.
That’s it, which really surprises me, because it seems like every time the Cubs and Reds meet up, another Reds’ player doubles their career home run total.
Just to make sure all these home runs weren’t in my head, I also did a search for Cubs’ pitchers who allowed multiple home runs in a single appearance against the Reds. I threw out any starting pitcher who allowed only two home runs, because that really isn’t a big deal.
There were four occurrences of relievers allowing two home runs in a single appearance against the Reds, and three occurrences of a starting pitcher allowing three or more.
Tom Gorzelanny, last night, three home runs.
Ted Lilly, July 4th, 2010, four home runs.
Jon Lieber, May 7th, 2008, four home runs. This happened in just two innings, worst start ever?
Sean Marshall, May 7th, 2008, two home runs, 2 IP.
Jon Lieber, July 10th, 2008, two home runs, 2 IP.
Aaron Heilman, July 25h, 2009, two home runs, 2/3 IP.
Jeff Stevens, July 4th, 2010, two home runs, 0 IP.
So, it looks like three games have been etched into my memory, three games where the Reds were seeing the ball extremely well, and the Cubs pitching was bad. That’s what happens when you take fly ball pitchers (like Lilly and Gorzelanny) and put them against powerful hitters like Votto, Dunn, and Bruce. Hopefully the Cubs are done pitching batting practice to the Reds, at least this season.