This one was over after one inning. Reds starter Chase Anderson recorded just one out after allowing the first four Cubs batters to reach in a five-run frame that fueled the Cubs’ seventh straight win. They swept the final six-game homestand at Wrigley and now have just three more games left in Cincy to close out the season.
As noted in the lineup post, the Cubs just needed to take advantage of the ample opportunities Anderson was likely to give them. After a leadoff double by Zach McKinstry, Anderson hit Willson Contreras and walked both Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ to force in a run. A Nico Hoerner groundout scored another run, then Franmil Reyes single home one more.
Following a walk by P.J. Higgins, Anderson was lifted in favor of Fernando Cruz. David Bote struck out, but Nelson Velázquez doubled to plate the final two runs of the inning and ice the game. Hoerner had a sac fly later in the game and Velazquez tripled again for two more insurance runs that wouldn’t be needed.
Marcus Stroman tossed his third consecutive quality start at home after opening the season in pretty rocky fashion at Wrigley. He ended his scoreless effort with seven strikeouts and two walks, scattering five hits over six innings. A trio of relievers pitched an inning apiece and limited the Reds to a single tally. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
That crooked number in the 1st inning buried the Reds and turned the rest of the game into little more than a scrimmage.
Eye on the Future
- Seiya Suzuki had two more hits and is up to a .789 OPS on the season
- Velázquez raised his average to .203 with the two extra-base knocks
- Stroman is looking like one of the anchors of what could be a very good rotation next season
- Hoerner put together some excellent plate appearances in this one
- Contreras received multiple standing ovations in what may have been his last Cubs home game
- Four Cubs collected at least two hits
- The Cubs have scored 98 1st-inning runs, fourth-most in MLB
It was nice to see the Cubs go out with a win in front of a home crowd, even if that crowd was pretty thin. Wrigley’s paid attendance this season was just 2,616,780 — their lowest since 1997 — and you know the actual attendance was far lower than that. An increase of 600,000 fans would net about $30 million in gate alone, so Tom Ricketts had better be serious about increasing the baseball budget.
The Cubs head to Cincy for the last three games of the season, the first of which is at 5:40pm CT as Hayden Wesneski faces Hunter Greene. This should be a fun one to watch for the young pitchers alone, and you can do so on Marquee Sports Network.