For 16 games this season, the Reds did what they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it against the hapless Chicago Cubs.
Cincinnati won 13 of the first 16 encounters which, for the most part, were really no contests.
For whatever reason, the Cubs shut out the Reds 2-0 on Monday night.
"I can't get a grip on it," Ryan Ludwick said. "I don't think anyone wanted to lose two out of three to the Cubs. They're a major league team but they're in last place and we're trying to chase down a couple of teams in front of us."
The Cubs clobbered, clubbed and collared the Reds in a 9-1 rout.
Chicago hit four home runs. Welington Castillo hit two of them, the first of which was off Reds' starter Tony Cingrani and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. The Cubs spent the rest of the game building on this lead.
Cingrani was forced to leave the game with back spasms after 1-2/3 innings.
"It was the same injury to Cingrani," Baker said. "He warmed up great. He didn't feel anything. In between the first and second he said his back was tight. It was devastating at that point. We had to go to the bullpen early. Thankfully, we have a day off on Thursday."
"The back end of my bullpen was beaten up pretty badly," Baker said.
Ryan Sweeney doubled to open the fifth. Cubs starter Edwin Jackson bunted into a fielder's choice with Sweeney out at third. Starlin Castro followed with a single that sent Jackson to third. Darwin Barney hit a sacrifice fly for a 6-0 Cubs' lead.
Murphy doubled home a run in the sixth.
Castillo hit his second home run of the game off Curtis Partch. It was his sixth home run of the season as he turned in his first career multi-home run game. Edwin Jackson hit his second career home run later in the inning off Partch.
Baker emptied his bench, allowing the starters to get some rest and Billy Hamilton to get his first two major league at-bats. He lined out and grounded out.
"I kept the front end guys strong for tomorrow. We're still in good shape," Baker said. "I told my guys to go home. It was a hot game tonight. They wanted to stick around. I told them to go home and get ready for tomorrow."
The Reds' lone run scored in the seventh. Zack Cozart extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double. Corky Miller doubled Cozart home. Miller has doubles in his last three plate appearances. His last at-bat was on August 7 against Oakland. He hit two doubles in the 6-5 win but had to leave the game with a contusion on his thigh. He was placed on the disabled list the following day.
The Reds will try to close out the homestand on a positive note on Wednesday.
"We took three steps forward and two steps back," Baker said. "You don't like losing and you don't like losting to the Cubs. We have to come back tomorrow. We can have a 7-3 homestand. That's .700 ball."
"We played two good teams and played really good baseball," Ludwick said. "I don't know if you call it a let down. I don't know if you call it not focused. I don't know if you call it not enough energy. I don't know if you call it those guys came in to play spoilers. Losing Tony was tough. All around it was a bad game frome the first inning on."
|Professionally edited by ML Schirmer|
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