Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/24/19): Cubs 5, Reds 6 — Live By the Homer, Die By the Homer
The Cubs looked like they were on their way to another victory, up 4-0 on the Reds heading into the 4th inning. Kyle Hendricks was cruising and the sluggers were boppin’ against Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani.
Alas, things didn’t go so swell the rest of the game as the Reds managed not one, but two comebacks, tying the score in the 7th and then taking the lead for good on an Eugenio Suárez blast off Steve Cishek that propelled the Reds to a 6-5 victory in the opener of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
As mentioned, things started off peachy for the home team. They wasted no time getting on the board as Kyle Schwarber continued his good work as leadoff man by crushing a 2-1 slider 449 ft and nearly out onto Sheffield on the fly.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Schwarber drew a walk and then trotted home when Kris Bryant hit a bomb to center to put the good guys up 3-0. Four pitches later, Anthony Rizzo joined the party, hitting his second ball in as many days off the Budweiser board in right and making things 4-0 Cubs.
While Hendricks was dealing in the early part of the game, he ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the 4th when Joey Votto scored on a Yasiel Puig single up the middle. Although nothing in the inning was hit particularly hard, Hendricks was probably lucky the Reds weren’t able to put any more on the board as they left the bases juiced.
The Reds drew a bit closer in the top of the 6th inning, and nothing was cheap about this inning. After a sharp single from Jesse Winker to lead off, Puig followed with a 431-foot bomb to center to make the score 4-3 and end Hendricks’ day after six solid. The Reds then tied things up at 4-4 off reliever Brad Brach in the top of the 7th when Winker hit a double to score Votto.
Knotted at 4-4, pinch hitter Willson Contreras looked to be the hero when he hit an 0-2 soft liner into right center for an RBI single that nudged Rizzo home and the Cubs ahead 6-5. But it was all for naught as Suárez hit his aforementioned bomb in the 9th. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs could neither capitalize on nor extend an early 4-0 lead and the bullpen coughed up another slim lead late.
It looked to be the RBI single in the bottom of the 8th from Contreras, but, alas, Suárez had other plans. His game-winning home run to center in the top of the 9th is, unfortunately, your play of the game this afternoon.
Stats that Matter
- The top three hitters in the Cubs lineup were 5-for-13 with all 5 runs and 4 RBI. Could have used some production from a starter not named Schwarber, Bryant, or Rizzo.
- Contreras didn’t start but still managed to find his 31st RBI in the bottom of the 8th with a pinch-hit single that looked to be huge at the time.
- Hendricks wasn’t spectacular, but pitched well enough to get a win and left with the lead. His line for the day: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB and 9 Ks.
Without Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop in the bullpen, the Cubs need some help (Strop is coming back soon, hopefully). It’s not that the other guys aren’t good, but they’re being tasked with spots they’re not good enough for at times. The Reds have also played the Cubs well and are better than their last-place standing, so let’s hope the Cubs are able to jump back on the horse tomorrow.
The Cubs continue their weekend set with the Reds Saturday afternoon as Yu Darvish takes the ball for the home team and Tyler Mahle for the Reds. First pitch is 1:20pm CT and can be seen on ABC-7. As always, if you’re not able to tune in on TV, tune your AM dial to 670 to hear Pat and Ron.