By HAL McCOY
It was bad Redlegs fans. Real bad. How bad was it? The last Cincinnati Reds pitcher on Monday night was infielder Scooter Gennett.
And he gave up a two-run home run, which puts him on equal footing with most of the Reds real pitchers.
The score: Chicago Cubs 15, Cincinnati Reds 5. And it wasn’t that close.
Whenever the Reds are in Chicago, they should avoid Wrigley Field as if it is infected with bird flu or swine flu. Take the family to the Navy Pier and ride the ferris wheel or take the wife shopping on Michigan Avenue or have some pizza at Giordano’s.
Wrigley Field is baseball hell for the Reds.
They opened a three-game series in Wrigley Monday night and, unfortunately, they showed up. And they lost for the seventh straight time this season in the Unfriendly Confines. By 10 runs.
THIS TIME IT WAS BY 15-5, even though Cubs starter Jose Quintana was awful — four hits and four walks in five innings, a 105-pitch effort.
But the Reds played this one like High Hank’s Bar & Grille softball team, after a team meeting before the game at the sponsor’s establishment. It was 13-2 after seven before the Reds did some late-game damage that didn’t even put a scare into the Bleacher Bums.
When it was 13-5 in the eighth, manager Bryan Price decided to save his ravaged bullpen by placing infielder Gennett on the mound. He gave up a walk and a two-run home run to Javier Baez. He gave up one other hit before retiring the side.
Cincinnati Reds starter Asher Wojciechowski was worse than Quintana — 3 2/3 innings, seven runs, 10 hits, two home runs.
It was just another typical effort by a Reds starting pitcher, pure evidence why the team has the highest earned run average in the majors and has given up the most home runs.
THE CUBS RAN AROUND the bases the way the carousel goes around and around at the Navy Pier.
Wojo gave up two runs in the first inning on a leadoff single by Jon Jay, a run-scoring double by Kris Bryant and a single by Anthony Rizzo.
The Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the second against Quintana, but scored only two runs. One came on a ground ball to the mound by Patrick Kivlehan that pitcher Quintana flipped homeward with his gloved hand and it was wild for an error. The second scored on a single by Billy Hamilton to make it 2-2.
The bases were still loaded with two outs, but Joey Votto grounded out to the pitcher.
It stayed 2-2 until the fifth. Jason Heyward led with a single, but Wojciechowski struck out both Javier Baez and Quintana
Then he slipped two quick strikes past Jon Jay — 0-and-2, two outs, one on, game still tied, 2-2.
Wojo, though, made the 0-and-2 pitch too good and Jay whacked it into the right field corner for a triple and a 3-2 lead.
And Wojo collapsed in a heap. Tommy Estella singled for another run. Kris Bryant homered, his 13th against the Reds in two years. And Anthony Rizzo followed with another home run — so Wojo was Brizzo-ed by Bryant and Rizzo..
That was the end of Wojo. The top four batters in the Cubs order went 7 for 10 with seven RBI against him.
FROM THERE THE FIRST PLACE Cubs piled on against Drew Storen, scoring six more runs in the seventh. It began when Middletown native Kyle Schwarber thought he was hit by a pitch. The umpire went to replay and New York agreed. At the time Schwarber had struck out eight straight times.
What followed was four hits and two errors that led to six runs.
Jon Jay had a single, double and triple his first three at bats, needing only a home run for the natural cycle (single, double, triple, home run in order). He drove one deep to right field in the seventh, near the right fielder corner. Right fielder Patrick Kivlehan leaped and snagged it, then dropped it, for an error.
RIZZO, WHO EATS THE REDS like ice cream, had three hits and drove in four. Jay had three hits and scored three.
The only good thing to talk about for the Reds was that Joey Votto had three hits, stretching his streak to 19 straight games of getting on base two or more times. That’s two short of the record of 21 games set by Votto’s personal guru, Ted Williams. Other than Votto, the Reds’ best offense came from Eugenio Suarez. He walked three times.
And Scooter Gennett, the second baseman before he became the pitcher, hit his 20th home run, a two-run rip into the left field basket in the eighth inning when the Reds were down, 13-2.