by Scott Fennessy
The Cubs have survived the “dog days” of August, and return from a terrific road trip to face the vastly improved Reds. Today sees Charlie Chech against the red hot Jake Weimer. I am expecting big things today from the men in blue.
The score was still 0-0 in the 3rd when Al Bridwell singles to center and the Reds send the runner. Weimer tries to slip a fastball to the outside to help Johnny Kling on the throw, but Fred Odwell crushes this one hard and deep, and right fielder Frank Schulte can only watch as it goes into the stands for his MLB leading 17th dinger of the year.
Jim Seymour then slams Weimer’s next offering deep to left and John McCarthy can’t get to it and it one hops the wall for a ground rule double, and Weimer, who has been struggling today is in big trouble now. He gets Jimmy Sebring on a pop up, but walks Harry Steinfeldt. With two out, and a runners on first and second light hitting Tommy Corcoran hits a grounder through the wicket and Seymour scores and runners are on the corners.
Corcoran is one of Cincinnati’s faster runners and he steals second easily, and equally light hitting catcher Charles Street strokes a single just past Johnny Evers glove and another run scores. Chech delivers the third straight hit and another run scores. Kling comes to the mound to calm Weimer down, and he gets Bridwell, who is the 10th and final batter of the inning, and the Reds have a 5-0 lead.
The Cubs begin their comeback in the bottom of the inning when Chech walks Hans Lobert. Lobert then steals second to start the action. Weimer, who despite having a weak hitter’s card seems to always come through and he does again with an RBI single to right. Billy Maloney then moves him over with a sacrifice bunt and Evers then walks and runners are on second and third with two out when Frank Chance walks to load the bases. The unusually wild Chech then strikes out Jim Casey to end the threat and the score is now 5-1 Reds on top.
The Reds keep on hitting though as Jim Seymour gets a one out triple, and is now 3 for 3 and needs just a home run to be the first player to hit for the cycle for me. This gets the bullpen going as Jimmy Sebring, who is starting to come on in the last few weeks then hits a deep fly ball to McCarthy in left and Seymour tags and scores after the catch. The score is now 6-1 Reds, and Chance has seen enough. Carl Lundgren, one of the better men in reserve comes in to close the inning out and he does what he was brought in to do.
The Cubs go down scoreless in the bottom of the 4th. Lundgren stays in the game and gives the Cubs a solid inning and the Cubs close the gap in the 5th when Billy Maloney gets hold of a curve ball and sends it to the wall. Odwell gets the throw in and Billy is in with his 14th double of the year. This is probably his first extra-base hit in two weeks, and I have noticed him starting to come around a bit. He probably needs a day off, but the bottom of the order is really struggling so Chance is going to ride his speedy center fielder as long as possible.
Evers then gets and RBI single scoring Maloney and he then steals second to set up a suddenly improving Schulte; who delivers with a single of his own scoring Evers and the lead is suddenly cut in half. Chech settles down though and the inning ends with the Reds on top 6-3.
Neither team scores again, and the Reds stun the Cubs 6-3. Seymour did not get the cycle, and the Reds worst hitters all did well for a change, but for the Reds it was not all good news as Steinfeldt was injured in the 6th inning and will make his 3rd trip to the DL. This time was just a sprained ankle and he will miss 5 games. Chech picks up his 11th win of the season.
The Cubs saw Weimer have one of his worst outings of the year and pick up just his 4th loss of the season. Joe Tinker, who has been on the bench for the last 4 days did get a pinch hit double, and Lundgren and Bob Wicker looked great in relief. Wicker’s performance was especially heartening as he has really been pounded in relief this season, so three hitless innings is a big moment.