The Cubs blanked the Reds in Cincy on Saturday by a score of 6-0 (box score). For Chicago, Jose Quintana twirled six scoreless innings, and Javier Baez hit the fifth grand slam of his career. The biggest buzz, though, surrounded the near-brawl in the eighth inning that was touched off after Pedro Strop plunked Yasiel Puig. Here’s a look:
After Strop ran the count to 3-0, Puig seemed to communicate via body language some level of disappointment at not seeing a hittable pitch. Strop, presumably vexed by this, put a 94-mph offering into Puig’s thigh, and we went from there. Credit to Joey Votto for doing the yeoman’s work of restraining a 240-pound man with vengeance on his mind.
As for Strop, he didn’t mince words afterward:
All right so Pedro Strop has spoken freely regarding the matter at hand.
Anyhow, both benches were warned following the extracurriculars, which is why Reds manager David Bell wanted Cubs reliever Dillon Maples tossed after he plunked Jose Peraza in the ninth, albeit with a slider. Instead, Bell got run.
In the end, consider this a big win for the Cubs, who are locked in a tight race in the NL Central, and consider the stage set for Sunday’s rubber match at Great American Ball Park.