Wisdom and Happ step up in win over Reds
|Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 7:59 AM- -|
CINCINNATI - If you think things are bad for the Chicago Cubs (17-24), it could be worse. You could be a fan of the Cincinnati Reds (12-29), who have been one of the worst, if not the worst, team in the NL since the season began.
In their first of 19 meetings this season, the Cubs were at the Great American Ballpark, where they have had historically great numbers. Drew Smyly took the ball for the Cubs and was looking to win his first game since his first start of the season. Opposing him was Vladimir Gutierrez, who was looking for his first win of 2022.
Not only did the Cubs offense start fast and back Smyly with a 4-0 lead, but Smyly was on point early, posting five shutout innings to open the game. Things got a little dicey in the sixth inning, but the Cubs managed to recover and added on late for the 7-4 victory over the Reds.
A big reason for Smyly and his success came in the first inning when he was able to work through a massive jam. Brandon Drury started things off with a one-out double before two later walks loaded the bases. Ultimately he made the pitches he needed to make to keep the Reds off the board.
The Cubs didn't have much to work with in terms of scoring chances through the first three innings, although they had an opportunity in the third and let it get away. They were not about to let that happen in the fourth, with Seiya Suzuki kicking things off with a loud double off the left-center field fence to start things off. If Ian Happ had it his way, the Cubs would play all their games in the Great American Ballpark, as his numbers are sick. That continued on Monday as an RBI double put the Cubs in front for good 1-0.
Following an Alfonso Rivas single later in the inning, the suddenly hot Patrick Wisdom unloaded for his fourth consecutive game with a homer as the Cubs opened up a 4-0 lead. That seemed like more than enough runs for Smyly, but the Reds were not going to go down without a fight.
Despite keeping the Reds off the board through five innings, Tommy Pham ended that early as his solo shot put the Reds on the board. That homer was followed by a Joey Votto hit by pitch before the Cubs killer Aristides Aquino unloaded for a long two-run shot to pull the Reds within 4-3. That spelled the end of the road for Smyly as he gave way to Daniel Norris, who struggled yet again, but managed to keep the Reds behind by one.
After the Reds offense started to show signs of life, it was time for the Cubs to do the same again. Christoper Morel continues his hot start to his MLB career, ripping an RBI single up the middle. Standing on second with two outs, Suzuki extended the inning by working a walk before it was that man Happ again. This time, Happ wasted no time picking up where he left off, unloading on a Luis Cessa pitch and hitting it to Louisville to extend the Cubs lead to 7-3.
With the lead comfortably in hand, it was time for David Ross to go with his best late in the game, and that started with Scott Effross in the seventh. Effross gave way to Chris Martin in the eighth, who struck out the side, but also allowed Aquino's second homer of the game to keep the Reds within striking distance at 7-4.
That would be as close as the Reds would get as David Robertson was called on to pitch the ninth and worked a scoreless frame to pick up his sixth save of the season while dropping his ERA to 1.76 in the Cubs 7-4 win. Although the Cubs had just eight hits, they made a lot of those hits count as three of them provided all seven runs.
Happ led the way with two hits and four RBIs as his Great American Ballpark dominance continues. He was the only one in the lineup with multiple hits as the Cubs picked up a nice win in what should be a must-win series.