The Cubs continued their recent struggles, suffering their third straight loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
But the game was not without it's fair share of drama. The matchup was a back-and-forth affair, up until the Reds blew the game wide-open in the bottom of the third inning. This included a grand slam by Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, the first home run of his career.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to the bullpen following Cincinnati's third inning explosion, and things did not get much better from there.
Fun thing from this game: Catcher Chris Gimenez is on the mound in the 8th. It's that kind of game— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 23, 2018
With the Cubs down six runs in the bottom of the eight inning, Maddon brought in catcher Chris Gimenez to pitch.
This was not new territory for Gimenez, who despite being a catcher, now has 10 MLB pitching appearances to his name.
Down six runs, Gimenez didn't have a lot to lose. But he got careless with a four-seam fastball in the zone that Reds first basemen Joey Votto homered for his eighth of the year.
Gimenez had a career ERA of 8.00 before Saturday's appearance, and he certainly didn't do much to help lower that figure.
According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers: "Including one today, Cubs relievers have allowed 41.1 percent of inherited runners to score in June, sixth most in the NL."
A tired bullpen is certainly cause for concern for the Cubs, who are locked into a battle in the NL Central with the Brewers and Cardinals. Maddon was surely hoping to keep his bullpen arms fresh with the move, seeing as the game was already out of reach.
So yes, the game did end in a 11-2 win for the Reds. But with a grand-slam by a pitcher—on his first career HR no less—and four-seam fastballs from a catcher, Cubs baseball always keep things interesting.
Tim Anderson turned 24 on Saturday and celebrated the occasion with a bang.
Anderson smashed a three-run home run in the first inning against the A's. It was actually his first swing on his birthday. Anderson took the first two pitches before launching the 1-1 pitch over the right field fence.
That home run, Anderson's 13th of the year, gave the White Sox a 5-0 lead. Things took an ugly turn later in the game with Oakland winning 7-6. Dylan Covey left in the fifth with a hip injury, which manager Rick Renteria said will be evaluated tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury.
Anderson finished 2-for-4 on his birthday. He later added a single, a stolen base and a run in the sixth inning.
Anderon's power surge this year has him on pace to blow past his 17 homers from a year ago. He is four shy of last year's total and has done so in just under half as many plate appearances.