Chicago Cubs: How the team fared against its biggest rivals in 2021

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The beef between Javier Baez and Amir Garrett continued in 2021.

Final record against the Reds: 8-11

Runs scored vs. runs against: 79-89

While not a rival compared to the Cardinals or Brewers, the Reds have been a worthy competitor in the NL Central in recent years. The season series began and ended well for the North Siders, but the Redlegs dominated the middle stretch of action. There was a series in early July in which the Reds swept the three-game set at Great American Ballpark, all of which were one-run games. That was toward the end of the first double-digit losing streak.

Even though they were out of it post-deadline, the Cubs got a little revenge on the Reds by winning two of three in the final two series late in the season, which put a damper on Cincinnati’s postseason hopes.

Joey Votto did what he did best, murder Cubs pitching. He hit nine home runs (yes, you read that right) with a .396/.484/.615 slash and 19 RBI in 16 games against the Cubs. His OPS in those games was 1.484. Meanwhile, Ian Happ returned the favor against the Reds. In 19 games against them, he slashed .345/.433/.759 with seven home runs and 15 RBI.

Best game: July 26. Cubs 6 – Reds 5

After trailing 5-3 in the seventh, the Cubs tied the game in the eighth and set up for a walk off win in the ninth. With the bases loaded and Amir Garrett on the bump, his arch-nemesis Javier Baez came to the plate. The two barked at each other as the crowd at Wrigley got up and got loud. Baez blasted a game-winning sacrifice fly to deep center, after which he flipped his bat and continued jawing at Garrett.

Worst game: July 4. Reds 3 – Cubs 2

Eleven hits for the North Siders and they could only muster two runs. Dan Winkler melted down in the seventh inning and the Reds handed the Cubs their ninth-straight loss. Might not have been the ugliest game against the Reds, but it was one of the most frustrating.