Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/1/21): Cubs 3, Reds 2 – Cubs Bullpen Dominates, Hoerner Puts Offense on his Back

Cubs starter Zach Davies spotted the Reds two runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, but the Reds didn’t score again as the Cubs bullpen dominated for a second straight game. Things got too close for comfort at the end, but the visitors held on for a 3-2 win at Great American Ball Park.

There was a palpable sense of “here we go again” after Davies gave up two thanks to a couple of hard hit balls and some questionable defense. The slender starter settled in, though, and the frustration quickly turned to hope.

While the pitchers were doing their thing, Nico Hoerner was busy having a day against Luis Castillo and anyone else the Reds decided to run out there. Hoerner scored the Cubs’ first run of the day in the top of the 3rd as Davies laid down a beauty sacrifice bunt to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1.

In the 4th, David Bote ripped a two-out double to right-center and immediately came around to tie the game as Jason Heyward hammered a single to right field. Heyward may have actually scored on the next play as Hoerner loosed another hit to right field, but he was called out at the plate in a really close play that went to review and still looked inconclusive.

Hoerner notched his third hit in the 6th inning, driving in Javier Báez for the go-ahead run, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead their bullpen wouldn’t relinquish. Closer Craig Kimbrel made it interesting in the 9th by giving up two hits to start his outing, but slammed the door by striking out the next two hitters before getting the final out on a groundout. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

Their bullpen has been absolutely electric the last two days, shutting down the Reds in dominant fashion after Davies left after just four innings.

Key Moment

After giving up two hits to start the bottom of 9th, Kimbrel pulled a rabbit out of his hat by proceeding to strike out two before inducing a ground ball from Big Stick Nick Castellanos.

Stats That Matter

  • Hoerner continues to rake since being brought up, going 3-for-3 with a walk. He is now slashing a pretty absurd .375/.487/1.018.
  • The Cubs bullpen shut down the Reds for a second straight day, combining for 5 IP, 2H, 0 R, and 7 K. Maybe the Cubs should just have their starters go four innings every game.
  • Kimbrel continues to look like classic Kimbrel; he has yet to give up a run in 2021 and has struck out 17 in 11 innings pitched.

Bottom Line

With a beautiful 3-2 win, the Cubs have a chance to take the series tomorrow in Cincinnati. Cubs starter Trevor Williams could help David Ross and the ‘pen out by going six or seven in the finale.

On Deck

The Cubs finish off their three-game series at Great American Ball Park Sunday afternoon as Williams takes on Tyler Mahle. Game time is 12:10 CT and can be seen on Marquee. If you’re looking to listen, turn your dial to 670 The Score.

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