Win: Bronson Arroyo (11-9) Loss: Chris Rusin (2-2)
Home Runs: CIN: Todd Frazier (11)
I’m going to refrain from even doing a three stars on the Cubs because today was one of, if not the worst game they have played all season and the only player even worthy is Chris Rusin (6 IP 2 ER). The team had two hits and only three base-runners and the Reds pitching staff faced only two over the minimum.
Being at the game, I could say first-hand that this was one of the more insufferable games to watch and there have been many of them. Nothing was working offensively for the Cubs, even against Bronson Arroyo, who pitches to contact. They also took way too many called thirds. BABIP did not treat them well, as the Cubs had many well hit balls, just right at the fielders.
Cody Ransom running into the third base umpire didn’t help and it made a bad outing even worse for Carlos Villanueva. Villanueva recently found out he was moving to the bullpen in favor of Jake Arrieta and picked up right where he left off in the rotation. Starter Chris Rusin was very good, despite allowing a lot of well hit outs. A no doubt home run and a double that should have been a single if David DeJesus didn’t dive were the causes of his earned runs.
On the other hand, this was a very positive game for the likely one game playoff bound Reds, but then again it is common to have a great game against this Cubs team. Todd Frazier homered and drove in two. Ryan Hanigan, Zack Cozart and Joey Votto each drove in one. The Reds also hit five doubles off the Cubs pitching staff.
Bronson Arroyo was almost unhittable (I never thought I would say that) and relievers Alfredo Simon and Jonathan Broxton shut the Cubs down to complete the three game sweep.
The Cubs have now been shutout in four of their last five home games. Dale Sveum posted a questionable Cubs lineup that was missing such regulars like Junior Lake, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro, but a day off for them was a necessity and Sveum doesn’t have a ton to work with.
A rough long stretch for the Cubs won’t get any better when the Cardinals come to town for a weekend series. The aforementioned move of Jake Arrieta rejoining the rotation will become official and Eduardo Sanchez being sent back down to Iowa until September 1st appears to be the likely move.