On Sunday, Reds starting pitcher Chase Anderson used 37 pitches to get one out … and that’s all he got.
It was not an outing designed to impress the brass toward considering him as part of the 2023 rotation.
He was charged with five runs in the first inning — one-third of an inning, five runs, two hits, three walks and a hit batter.
He walked a batter with the bases loaded, gave up a second run on a fielder’s choice, the only out he recorded, and a run-scoring single. Fernando Cruz replaced him in the first inning and gave up a two-run double to Nelson Velazquez, both runs charged to Anderson.
And that’s all Chicago starter Marcus Stroman needed. He held the Reds scoreless on five hits for his six innings and induced 11 ground ball outs.
The Cubs were incredibly patient against Cincinnati pitchers. They went to 3-and-2 full counts 12 times.
The Reds had their chances in the first two innings. They put two runners on base in the first and second innings, but Stroman worked around it both times.
Chicago, winners of seven straight and 11 of its last 12, added a run in the fourth against Joel Kuhnel on a single by Seiya Suzuki, a double by Ian Happ and a sacrifice fly by Nico Hoerner to make it 6-1.
Two more Cubs runs scored against Ian Gibaut in the seventh on Velazquez’s two-run triple off the top of the ivy-covered brick wall to push the score to 8-1.
Velazquez, a 23-year-old rookie batting ninth, had two hits and drove in four runs. Suzuki, Franmil Reyes and Happ each had two hits for the Cubs.
Jonathan India had two hits, the only Reds hitter with more than one and the Reds struck out 12 times.
The same two teams move to Cincinnati for a season-ending three-game series in Great American Ball Park. And the Reds must sweep the series to avoid a 100-loss season.
If the Cubs sweep the series, the Reds will pass the 1982 team that lost 101 games, the all-time single-season team record. A Chicago sweep would give the Reds 102 losses.