CI Recap (4/22/17) – Cubs 12, Reds 8: Hey Hey The Bats Came to Play

Fair warning: After reading this recap, go to the main page of the Cubs Insider and watch all of the videos of the homers and stuff.

It was #JakeDay as Arrieta took the bump against left-hander Cody Reed. The Cubs have demolished Reed in the past and nothing was different today. But before that, some quick background info. The lineup was the same as yesterday, which means no Ben Zobrist as the regular 2B/RF deals with some back tightness. This is all what I presume to be precautionary measures.

Anyway, Kyle Schwarber walked to lead off and advanced on a wild pitch. A Kris Bryant walk had runners on first and second for last night’s hero, Anthony Rizzo. And you’re damn right Rizzo hit a pitch far away from where Reed had hoped he would. The Cubs took a quick 3-0 lead as Reed threw 30-some-odd pitches in the first inning alone.

And then Arrieta took the mound. Betcha he wishes he could forget the bottom of the 1st, when Joey Votto did his thing with two runners on to tie the game very quickly. With two outs, Eugenio Suarez came to the plate and, just like that, the Reds had the lead at 4-3.

Remember how I said the Cubs wouldn’t stop scoring runs on Reed? In the bottom of the 2nd, they didn’t stop. Reed got two quick outs but then Bryant stepped to the plate and laced a double into left. Rizzo and Russell both walked to bring young Willson Contreras to the plate. In what seemed to be too obvious, Contreras hit his first ever grand salami. With the Cubs back in the lead at 7-4, it didn’t feel like it was enough.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Reds scored a run. It’s one of those games where it doesn’t even matter how it happened (Votto singled to score Jose Peraza), you just need to keep track of the score. Votto’s single brought it to 7-5.

Take a deep breath cause for the next TWO INNINGS NONE OF THE TEAMS IN THIS SPORTSBALL CONTEST SCORED RUNS! In the 5th, an Arrieta triple scored Jason Heyward (more on the triple later); then in the 6th, a Rizzo double and a Contreras hit by pitch gave J-Hey the chance to put the ball game away. He did just that as he massacred a pitch to right for his second homer in as many days. It took Heyward till early June to hit his second dinger last year.

He is currently second on the team in exit velocity, which is hardly believable, but his new swing has done wonders. After the homer, the Cubs had quite the lead at 11-5. Eugenio Suarez hit a second homer off of Justin Grimm to make it 11-6. In the top of the 9th, a Heyward single brought in Contreras after he had hit a double.

Brian Duensing gave up two runs in the bottom of the 9th and, in a shocking twist of events, Joey Votto drove in one of them. Duensing stuck with it though and finished out a thrilling Cubs win with a score of 12-8.

One more thing: Arrieta was bad in the first two innings but he really settled in with four scoreless thereafter. He also struck out eight. Again, he was quite good and even humped the fastball up to 94-95 a few times.

Stats that matter

  • Jake Arrieta’s RBI triple marked four consecutive seasons with a three-base hit. He is the only active pitcher to hold that honor and really speaks to how solid he is at the plate.
  • Rizzo’s double left the bat at just over 113 mph, which was his hardest recorded hit by Statcast in his career. I like exit velocity, it’s fun.

The bottom line

This was quite the pitchers duel. Contreras’s slam was the highlight of the day, but the Cubs offense just crushed it, literally. Bring the brooms out tomorrow.

On Deck

The Cubs look for the sweep against dinosaur Bronson Arroyo as John Lackey takes the bump for the Cubs. After the game in Cincy, the Cubs will travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game set against the Bucs.

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