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Observations: Chafin trade overshadows drama vs. Reds originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In case you missed it while following trade news Monday, the Cubs came back late against the Reds to tie their game in the eighth Monday night and win it on Javy Báez’s pinch-hit drive with the bases loaded in the ninth (after he sat out the first eight innings with a bruised heel).
In related news, so long, Andrew Chafin, with your 2.06 ERA and even more impressive mustache.
Let us know if you need somebody to keep an eye on your sweet, 1988 lake cruiser down at the marina.
Meanwhile, Monday’s observations from the Cubs-Reds game.
1. Two innings after slamming his bat so hard on the ground after a strikeout that it could be heard breaking, loudly, over the crowd noise, Willson Contreras tied the game with a one-out homer to left in the eighth inning that sounded even louder. That helped set the stage for Báez’s dramatic walk from the bench and first-pitch game-winner over the centerfielder’s head in the ninth.
2. Despite his toughest outing in 11 weeks, Kyle Hendricks take a 10-decision winning streak into his next start after escaping Monday with a no-decision — his fourth in six starts. He has not lost any of his last 14 starts.
3. Hendricks was lifted with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth, with the Reds leading 4-3. He hadn’t gone less than six innings since his last loss, May 9 — with 12 quality starts in 13 outings since then, until Monday.
4. Hendricks, who was hit hard in April, had given up just one homer in his previous seven starts before allowing two on Monday (solo shots by Joey Votto in the second and Kyle Farmer in the fourth).
5. Bryzzo moment: Anthony Rizzo, who had two home runs during a 27-game, .198 stretch before Sunday, made it two in two games with a two-run shot in the first inning Monday — just ahead of Kris Bryant’s infield single.
6. Bananas split: The lefty-hitting Rizzo has generally handled left-handers well in his career, but his splits are off the charts this year. That first-inning homer off lefty Wade Miley pushed his numbers against lefties this year to 29-for-83 (.349) with a .421 on-base percentage and .999 OPS — compared to .210 with a .710 OPS against right-handers.
7. Double trouble: Rizzo’s homer was his 241st as a Cub, giving him and Bryant a combined 400 Cubs home runs — less than four days before the trade deadline. By comparison, teammates Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson combined for 456 as Cubs; Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, 904 (Williams and Ron Santo, 729).
8. In his fourth outfield start of his big-league career — all this season — left fielder Patrick Wisdom earned his first outfield assist, when he threw out Jesse Winker trying to stretch a single in the first inning. Wisdom played the carom off the wall in foul territory perfectly, then fired a strike to David Bote at second on the close play.
9. Rizzo, who struggled for much of the past six weeks, reached base three times Monday and is 6-for-14 (.429) the last four games with two homers, a double , two walks — and reached a ninth time when hit by a pitch.
10. Trade watch: The Cubs getting the heaviest interest during trade deadline week is closer Craig Kimbrel — who remained in the house just long enough to strike out the final three he faced after allowing a leadoff walk and ensuing single in the top of the ninth inning of a tie game.
On deck: Kid starter Adbert Alzolay (4-10, 4.58) goes for the Cubs in the second game of the four-game series, facing RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3, 4.97), 7:05 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.
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