Cubs at Reds game postponed after long rain delay that dampens '90 team reunion



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CINCINNATI — At least the Cubs' bullpen could use the rest.

Steady rain prompted the Reds to postpone their game against Chicago on Saturday, disappointing a big crowd that had bought tickets to see a reunion of Cincinnati's 1990 World Series championship team.

The teams waited 4 hours, 13 minutes before it was called off. No makeup was scheduled.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon understood that the Reds wanted to try to get the game in because of the occasion.

"I know they wanted to get it done for the full house," Maddon said. "I understand that. I totally get it. I'm not going to denigrate the Reds to do what they think is the right thing to do. Ever.

"Everybody's got their own house to keep, so I'm not going there. But I understand that had to play somewhat into the delay."

Four of the Reds' eight home games have been affected by rain, with the delays totaling 8 hours, 36 minutes. They've also had three extra-inning games at home, including a 7-3 loss to the Cubs in 11 innings on Friday night.

It was Chicago's second postponement of the season. A game against St. Louis on April 7 was called off and hasn't been rescheduled.

The Reds honored their '90 championship team with various activities over the weekend. They had planned to bring the players on the field before Saturday's game, but instead introduced them on the videoboard from a sheltered area of Great American Ball Park.

The Reds also gave away a Nasty Boys bobblehead featuring figures of relievers Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers from the '90 club.

The rainout was a welcomed chance for Chicago to rest its bullpen. Cubs starters have thrown only 92 innings, the fourth-fewest in the NL.

"Anytime you get a day off, it's good for your bullpen," Maddon said. "Always."

By contrast, the Reds have gotten good showings from their rotation, only to have the bullpen give up games. Their relievers have a combined 5.36 ERA that's the worst in the NL.

The bullpen was a huge problem last season as well, going 1-17 after the All-Star break. The Reds brought in Burke Badenhop and Kevin Gregg to try to fix the problem, but both have struggled.

Badenhop gave up four runs in the 11th inning on Friday night, leaving him 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA. Gregg is 0-2 with a 10.29 ERA.

Manager Bryan Price said Saturday that he will use Tony Cingrani more frequently to try to stabilize the bullpen. The left-hander was moved into the bullpen during spring training as a long reliever and has appeared in only three games.

DAY OFF

Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season and likely will be off on Sunday, too. Bruce fouled out with the bases loaded in the 10th inning on Friday night and is batting only .164 with a team-high 24 strikeouts.

STREAKS & STATS

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in his last five games (10 for 19). ... Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler is in an 0-for-11 slump.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: Reliever Pedro Strop was still bothered by a sore toe, leaving him unavailable to pitch even if the game was played.

Reds: Devin Mesoraco won't catch in the bullpen until at least early next week, giving his sore left hip more time to heal. He's been limited to two pinch-hit appearances in the last 11 games.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Jake Arrieta — Saturday's scheduled starter — didn't throw a warm-up pitch and will start on Sunday.

Reds: Anthony DeSclafani takes his 15-inning scoreless streak into Sunday's game.


Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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