The Cubs traveled to Cincinnati Monday for the first of three games with the Reds after dropping two in a row against the Brewers. Chicago jumped ahead early but a series of questionable managerial decisions contributed to another defeat.
The first two runners in the opening frame reached base, setting up Cody Bellinger to break out of his 0-for-11 slump with his first home run of the season. The three-run blast was Bellinger’s first hit as a Cub, but the lead did not last long.
The Reds hit five consecutive singles off of Drew Smyly in the bottom of the 1st to tie the game at three. Cincinnati took the lead in the 2nd on a RBI groundout by Jonathan India, then the Smyly settled down and threw two scoreless innings.
Chicago put up three runs in the 5th inning to regain the advantage. Eric Hosmer hit a line-drive double in the right-center gap to bring home two runs. Smyly remained in the game in the bottom half and got to nearly 90 pitches when former Cubs farmhand Jason Vosler hit a game-winning three-run homer to left.
Keegan Thompson pitched perfectly the rest of the night to keep his team in the game to no avail. The Cubs got the tying run into scoring position twice in the late innings but were unable to bring them home and they were saddled with the one-run loss. (Box score)
The Cubs had two men on base and nobody out in the top of the 7th inning and Patrick Wisdom was called on to bunt. Wisdom got ahead in the count 3-1, yet the bunt sign remained on and he popped up an attempt for an easy out. The bases would eventually be loaded before the Reds escaped with their lead intact.
Why the Cubs Lost
The decisions to keep Smyly in the game after 85 taxing pitches and to bunt the power hitting Wisdom proved very costly. Neither player was put in a position to succeed and they did not.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly was just not sharp Monday and got hit hard: 4.2 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 3 K, and 2 BB.
- Dansby Swanson had three more hits, bringing him to 10 on the season.
- Hosmer had his first three hits in a Cubs uniform Monday.
Monday was a very frustrating loss for Chicago. A failure to execute at several key moments cost them badly. It’s very hard to blame a manager for a loss, but it was not the finest moment for David Ross.
The Cubs hope to snap their three-game losing streak against the Reds Tuesday night at 5:40pm CT. Hayden Wesneski makes his highly-anticipated season debut against Luis Cessa with the broadcast available on Marquee and 670 The Score.