Cubs come up short to Reds in defensive struggle
Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks was in top form tonight. The same cannot be said about the Cubs' batters.

Cubs come up short to Reds in defensive struggle

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO – Almost as if last night never happened, the Cubs lost a close one to the Reds 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel. Kyle Hendricks was lights out scattering five hits and four walks over six innings of quality work. His six strikeouts mostly came on the changeup after he set hitters up with a low strike zone fastball.

Rookie starter Luis Castillo also pitched incredibly well giving up only two hits in six innings and striking out seven. He is one of the intriguing youngsters the Reds may have in their rotation for a long time as a guy who can touch 100 on the gun and throw a wipeout slider to follow. The Cubs’ bats went eerily silent against the exact same team against which they put up 15 runs the night before.

Carl Edwards Jr. relieved Kyle Hendricks in the seventh inning and absolutely dominated with his fastball-curve approach striking out the side. This was an important outing for a young guy who has the stuff to be a closer as his recent outings have been far from shutdown.

Pedro Strop stepped up in the eighth and made a few mistake pitches to give the Reds their lead. Joey Votto walked with one out, was advanced to third by an Adam Duvall single, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Scooter Gennett.

The Cubs had a good chance to score in the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second with one out and again with the bases loaded and two outs, but clutch hitting has not been the Cubs’ strength this year.

In the top of the ninth Justin Wilson, the Cubs new left-handed bullpen arm ceded a walk and a ground rule double before Billy Hamilton looped a single to left for the Reds’ second run of the ballgame.

The bottom of the ninth began with Schwarber batting for Albert Almora Jr. and singling to right field. Jason Heyward singled to left. Javier Baez put down a rare sacrifice bunt to put the tying runs in scoring position with just one out. Zobrist picked up a single to right, but with just one out still, third base coach Gary Jones held Heyward at third. Jon jay struck out swinging and pinch hitter Alex Avila struck out looking to end the game. A pop fly could have tied the game, but they couldn’t even make solid contact.

The third game of four is slated for another 7:05 PM CDT start. Two veterans, Homer Bailey (4-6, 8.31 ERA) and John Lackey (10-9, 4.82 ERA) will square off.

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