Update: The game has been postponed due to inclement weather and will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on September 1. The first game will be at 12:10pm CT and the second is scheduled for 6:40pm CT. Both will be full games, not the shortened 7-inning affairs.
The Cubs exploded last night to snap their three-game losing streak, stringing together a load of hits without the benefit of a homer. That’s how they’re going to have to win this season, though we can’t expect them to hang 12 runs on every opponent. The top of the order has been getting it done consistently, so they’re really dangerous when the 4-9 hitters are raking.
Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, and Ian Happ have all been excellent in their respective spots so far, and center fielder Cody Bellinger is looking like a legit everyday cleanup hitter again. Trey Mancini hasn’t gotten a lot of hits, but the knocks he gets are timely. He’ll be at first base this afternoon. Eric Hosmer is the DH, Nick Madrigal is at third, Miles Mastrobuoni is in right, and Tucker Barnhart is catching.
Marcus Stroman is on the mound for the second time and will be looking for his second win of the young season. He’ll be pitching in warmer weather this time, not that the cool air chilled his performance last time out. He’ll need to keep the ball in the yard, something his predecessors haven’t managed to do very well so far in Cincy.
On the mound for the Reds is fireballing righty Hunter Greene, who was roughed up by the Pirates in his first outing. Though he struck out eight batters in 3.1 innings, he allowed three earned runs on five hits (one homer) and three walks. The 23-year-old is one of the hardest throwers in the game, averaging right around 100 mph with his fastball, and he’s got a wipeout slider to go with it.
Greene doesn’t get a ton of movement on his heater, so he’s got to be really sharp with his command lest he see the pitch turned around in a hurry. It’s also harder to set up his breaking ball when he’s not getting ahead in counts. The Cubs saw that firsthand when they faced Greene on May 26, tuning him up for five runs on seven hits, three of which left the yard.
They ended up losing that game when their own pitching faltered badly, but the key is that this is a guy who gave up four or more hits in 16 of his 24 starts last season. Greene is capable of looking completely dominant as well, so this game is hard to predict. My preference is for the Cubs to go up there sitting dead red and looking to pound early fastballs, but maybe they should just try to reach via walks and then start bunting.
First pitch was scheduled for 11:35am CT on Marquee and 670 The Score, but the Reds have announced that inclement weather will delay the start of the game.
Stro Show matinee in Cincinnati!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 5, 2023