Chicago Cubs Recap: Justin Grimm struggles in loss to Reds
By Jake Misener
After a dominant string of appearances, Justin Grimm struggled badly Monday night as the Chicago Cubs fell to the Cincinnati Reds by a 13-6 final at Wrigley Field.
Leading 5-3 heading into the sixth, Grimm took over for starter Kyle Hendricks, who scattered five hits and the trio of aforementioned runs over five solid innings of work, striking out four and walking three.
The hard-throwing right-hander issued a lead-off walk to Ivan De Jesus Jr., prompting a showdown with Eugenio Suarez, who took Grimm deep for a game-tying two-run blast. After Tucker Barnhart singled, pinch-hitter Adam Duvall followed suit, launching a two-run shot of his own, catapulting the Reds to a 7-5 advantage.
Grimm, who hadn’t allowed a single run since July 20, when he was also touched for a pair of runs against – you guessed it, the Reds. Entering play Monday, the righty had allowed a total of five runs in 38 1/3 innings, but allowed four in just one-third of an inning in the opener alone.
Chicago took the early lead on a third-inning solo shot by Dexter Fowler, his 15th on the year. Hendricks gave the lead back in the fourth when De Jesus Jr. singled to center, scoring Joey Votto and tying the game at one apiece.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips singled in a pair, putting Cincinnati ahead 3-1. Addison Russell pulled the Cubs back even in the bottom of the frame with a two-run single and Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant each plated a run to extend Chicago’s advantage to 5-3.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth inning, both Bryant and Chris Coghlan attempted a double steal only to have Barnhart throw out Chicago’s 23-year-old rookie to end the inning. Starlin Castro was in the batter’s box and had himself a 1-0 count when both men took off.
After Travis Wood was unable to get out of the top half of the ninth, James Russell was called to the mound in hopes of holding the Reds who had two runners on. Russell would then walk the bases loaded and give up a two-run RBI single off the bat of Barnhart which made it a five-run game.
Addison had the opportunity of getting his club out of the inning on a ground ball, but Castro was unable to handle the toss from his shortstop resulting in his third error of the game.
Cincinnati then made it 13-5, finishing with a six-run ninth inning.
Maddon’s shortstop later hammered a two-out solo bomb to left field off flamethrower, Aroldis Chapman during the bottom half of the ninth.
The loss continues a trend of inconsistency of sorts for the Cubs, who have been a very back-and-forth team of late, having won six of its last 10 contests entering Monday’s series opener at the Friendly Confines.
For Hendricks, the no-decision marked the fourth time in six August starts that he failed to pitch more than five innings, and the fifth time he allowed at least three earned runs in the month.
Chicago will look to veteran Dan Haren in Tuesday night’s game against Cincinnati.
Haren (8-9, 3.90) will be opposed by Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (7-10, 3.84). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field.