The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds were knotted up at 1-1 until it became a game of bullpens. The Cubs bullpen took care of their duties and held the Reds to one run in the final four innings. Cincinnati’s bullpen allowed two inherited runners to score and three more runs after that as the Cubs grabbed the day game of Friday’s doubleheader by a score of 6-2. Game two will begin at 6:40pm ET.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (72-62)
6 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (69-67)
2 7 0
W: Wicks (2-0) L: Ashcraft (7-9) SV: Thompson (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Both starting pitchers worked around a baserunner in the 1st inning. Cincinnati put together a pair of baserunners in the 2nd when Tyler Stephenson singled off of Jordan Wicks and then Noelvi Marte walked, but a strikeout would end the inning and strand both runners.

Cincinnati caught a bit of a break in the top of the 4th after Nico Hoerner singled to lead off the inning. With Ian Happ – known Reds destroyer – at the plate, Hoerner attempted to steal second base and was thrown out on a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play. That turned out to be a big play at the time because Cody Bellinger followed up with home run that put the Cubs up 1-0.

The lead didn’t last long for Chicago as in the bottom of the frame the Reds got the run back after Nick Senzel single, Tyler Stephenson walk, and then an RBI single from Noelvi Marte tied the game up. Cincinnati couldn’t capitalize on anything else that inning as the club stranded two runners.

Graham Ashcraft had allowed just one run through the first five innings before returning to start the 6th. He’d allow a leadoff single and then a double to Ian Happ to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. That was enough for David Bell to make a pitching change and bring in Lucas Sims. The first pitch he threw turned into a 2-run single off of the bat of Cody Bellinger as the Cubs grabbed the lead at 3-1. Sims would walk a batter later in the inning but worked around things to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th the Reds got things moving with some help from the Chicago bullpen. TJ Friedl was called off of the bench to pinch hit and was instead hit by a pitch. He took second base on a wild pitch and then took third base on a ground out from Jake Fraley. Spencer Steer followed up with a walk to put runners on the corners for Elly De La Cruz. Things didn’t go Cincinnati’s way as De La Cruz hit a chopper directly at the second base bag where Dansby Swanson fielded it, stepped on the bag, and fired to first to turn an inning-ending double play.

After throwing a scoreless 7th inning, Daniel Duarte came back out for the 8th inning and after getting a groundout to start the inning he gave up a solo homer to Seiya Suzuki that padded the Cubs lead to 4-1.

Derek Law would have to face Ian Happ with a runner on in the top of the 9th inning. If we gave you a guess as to what happened next you would probably be correct. If you guessed that he hit a 2-run homer, then pat yourself on the back because that’s exactly what happened. It was his 17th home run at Great American Ball Park in just his 46th game (and he only started in 41 of those games).

Noelvi Marte led off the bottom of the 9th with a single. He would move up to second base on a ground out before coming in to score when Will Benson came through with an RBI pinch-hit single into left. That would be all that Cincinnati would get as the Cubs wrapped up the first game of Friday’s day/night doubleheader.

Key Moment of the Game

Cody Bellinger’s 2-run single in the top of the 6th inning that broke a 1-1 tie.

Notes worth noting

The loss drops Cincinnati 4.0 games back of Chicago for 2nd place in the division and 6.5 behind Milwaukee. They are also current 2.0 games out of the final wild card spot.

Keegan Thompson picked up the save for the Cubs. He now has one save in each of his three big league seasons.

Noelvi Marte had two hits and a walk. It was his first multi-hit game in his big league career (11 games where he had a plate appearance).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

TODAY – Friday September 1st, 6:40pm ET (doubleheader)

Neither team  has announced a starting pitcher yet

39 Responses

  1. Indy Red Man

    For old guys like me this has been 40+ years of almost UNRELENTING SUCK! I’m so glad I didn’t replace the Reds gear I threw away last year. I alllllmost did, but something told me the Reds will Red. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me 40 #$&”n times and I’m an idiot.

    And the Sunshine pumpers….oh we’ve already won 62 and we’re so much better then last year. Oh we’re so young and talented.

    Let me give you an example why potential means you haven’t done anything yet. My 2021 Colts went to Buffalo and crushed them. Jonathan Taylor ran for 5 TDs on them. Our GM Chris Ballard was a fan favorite and darling of the NFL. Considered best up-n-coming GM, etc. Sound familiar? Well we went 4-12-1 last year and might get 6 wins this year if the breaks go their way. UNRELENTLY SUCK. No thank you. I’ve had my fill already

    • Indy Red Man

      Ok so unrelently isn’t a word. It still fits

      • RedsMonk65

        I hear ya–I really do. Honestly hope you feel better getting that off your chest and know there are many who feel the same way. As a perpetually frustrated Browns fan, the years between 1995-1999 were the absolute best for my mental health. They really were. Since then … different story.

    • Rednat

      i have followed the reds since I was a kid and I am in my 70’s. i will say I enjoyed watching the reds in the 50’s ,60’s, 70’s, even 80’s they had some good teams and in the 90’s. the last fun team was the 1999 team. the 21st century reds have been torture. i agree. I also agree that they are trending trending in the wrong direction and wouldn’t be surprised if next year we flirt with 100 losses again

      • Jeremiah

        I agree the 99 team was the last fun team, but the 2012 team I think could have won the World Series…that team was a really good, just caved under the pressure a bit to the Giants.

      • RedsMonk65

        I agree, the 2012 team could have gone all the way. They had the pitching and enough hitting. Votto/Bruce/Phillips in their prime. 2-0 vs. the Giants after two games out West, only needing one game at home. Lose series in heartbreaking fashion. After Rolen error, everything went downhill…. That was their big chance, and it did not happen.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I feel your pain Indy Red Man! An Indianapolis Colts fan myself! Lived in Indiana No Place when the Colts left Baltimore in the dead of the night!

    • Moon

      There is a factory of sadness on both ends of the state. Go Browns!

    • Old-school

      Strong work Indy

      Epic rant

      I think unrelently is a good word. Perfectly expressed things

    • RedsMonk65

      We have a saying around here: “It’s easy to be a (FILL IN THE BLANK). It’s hard to be one every day.” Truth.

  2. J

    I haven’t been able to comment until now, but I wanted to say that I saw Bader lead off the game by swinging at a 3-1 pitch that would almost certainly have been ball four, and thought “wow, he is going to fit right in with this team.” I was so optimistic when I saw him get to 3-0, because I can’t remember the last time a leadoff hitter for the Reds has done that, but alas.

      • J

        It’s truly a mystery to me that a leadoff guy (or really any guy, but especially a leadoff guy) isn’t interested in drawing a walk, to the point where he’ll swing at a 3-1 pitch out of the strike zone. I just can’t imagine what goes on in someone’s head. He knows the pitcher didn’t mean to throw three consecutive balls, so he knows the pitcher might not be able to throw two more strikes, but he’s still thinking “swing if it’s close.” WHY?! Players really don’t seem to be aware of the fact that most of their swings, on any count, are going to result in either a strike or an out. Even most balls put in play on 3-1 counts are more likely to be outs than hits. They all seem to be quite delusional about their hitting abilities.

    • RedsMonk65

      State of the game these days, unfortunately….

  3. LDS

    The Reds need 2 of the next 3 to not lose ground to the Cubs and hold on to the tiebreaker. Not likely. Postseason fantasies probably dead by Labor Day

  4. LarkinPhillips

    Sad to see my prediction came true. As usual, in an important series, the Reds came put flat. It’s sad to see there is no fire under any of the players right now. But that is what Bell preaches, staying relaxed and no big stress. Nothing needs to change after all. Maybe someone gets fired up on between these two games and comes out with some fire under their rear ends before game 2.

    • Ted Alfred

      The Reds are folding like a cheap tent with David Bell as manager…as predicted by myself as soon as they extended him 3 years. They’ll never win anything with him…just like they did 2 years ago in the playoff race Sept 2021. He seems like a nice enough person, but he’s not going to lead any team to win anything. The best thing that could happen would be for the Reds to start off next season so poorly that they have no choice but to replace David Bell by May or June just due to fan attendance getting crushed. Then get a real manager in here for these young talented players. They’re going to have a nice window to win the World Series in the next 3 to 5 years as long as they hire the right manager to guide this team.

      • LarkinPhillips

        What is so poorly they have to fire him? 3-22 didn’t get it done last year.

  5. Dennis Westrick

    Reds-Killer Ian Happ stirkes again! Reds never learn!

    Somebody please smack Bell and tell him there are ONLY 26 games remaining!

    There is absolutely NO sense of urgency from “Aw Shucks” Bell or this team!

    They have now placed themselves in the unenviable postion of winning Game 2 of this DH plus the games tomorrow & Sunday!

    Thank God for college football tonight, tomorrow & Sunday night!

  6. David

    Do not ask for whom the Bell tolls…

    The David Bell tolls for thee, Cincinnati Reds.

    Or, to put it another way…

    “He’s dead, Jim”, Dr. Leonard McCoy

  7. Reddawg2012

    Hmmm…the obscure waiver pickups that all the Krall fanboys were so excited about didn’t immediately turn the team around. Shocker.

    • David

      When I first commented here, I was a fan boy.

      But now, as the time has passed, I am a Fan Man.

      Burma shave.

  8. Jeremiah

    My prediction was the Reds would lose 6 of 7 to the Cubs and Mariners. Both those teams are quite a bit better than the Reds right now. If the Reds are within 3 games of any playoff spot after the Mariners series I’d be happily surprised.

    Good notes from today, Marte had a good game, seemed to have some good at bats. I thought De La Cruz not striking out more than once actually a positive, putting the ball in play (Not sure why he’s batting 3rd though still). Ashcraft was not bad, I would have let him face Bellinger again or at least brought in Sam Moll (is he injured?).

    I think Bader and Renfro will help, maybe when they play like the Cards, Pirates, Mets though. I like the moves… but I see Bader, Senzel, Hopkins, Fairchild all on the same team though and think that’s a lot of bad right handed similar type of hitting overall.

    Has a team ever had a 12 game winning streak and not finished above .500? I’ve been wondering that!?

    Hopefully these younger guys get some good experience and it helps them in the future, having played in some pressure games.

    Got to give the Cubs organization and some of their players a ton of credit for not giving in when they very easily could have traded Bellinger, Stroman…they took a bit of a gamble and it worked, they were better than their record all along just needed some time for it to play out.

    Who knows what to expect, Lively vs. Greene tonight. I could see the Reds getting trounced, but I’m hoping they can pull off a win or two this weekend!

    • RedsMonk65

      Richardson pitches tonight. Lively and Greene both on the IL.

  9. AMDG

    I still don’t grasp the (sub 100 OPS+) acquisitions of Renfroe & Bader.

    Seems if the Reds want unproductive AB’s from their outfielders, couldn’t they just use Senzel, Fairchild, or Hopkins?

  10. scotly50

    “Turn out the lights, the party is over”.

  11. J

    Just to continue my theme from above…

    I don’t understand what Bader is thinking when he swings at a 3-1 pitch leading off the game. He knows the pitcher is struggling to throw strikes, which is why he’d throw three balls. He knows his job is to just get on base somehow, not to try to drive someone in by putting the ball in play. He should be aware that most swings on 3-1 pitches are going to result in either strikes or outs, not hits. He should be trying to draw a WALK in that situation, but instead he swung at what was almost certainly ball four, and we started yet another game with an out instead of a runner on first. They all seem to be delusional about how easy it is for opposing pitchers to throw strikes and/or their own hitting abilities.

    I simply don’t understand this behavior, and I never will. Which leads me, inevitably, to the same question I always have, which is why Bell seems to be completely uninterested in putting a stop to it. Is it because most managers wouldn’t tell guys to take a 3-1 pitch, and that’s supposed to be good enough for us? Most managers are dumb, so it’s okay that Bell is dumb? (Also, a lot of managers have leadoff hitters who actually try to draw walks, so they don’t need to flash a take sign in that situation, because it’s understood.)

  12. DHud

    Really tough to stay motivated by this team at this point. They’ve had every opportunity to put themselves ahead, and have just folded at every single one of them

  13. Michael B. Green

    1st and 4th in the lineup? Are you kidding me?

  14. Coldwaterlaw

    Likely the waiver acquisitions will have no positive impact on the remainder of the season. Better to keep Friedl and Benson in the lineup. Elly has the natural skills to be a generational talent but only if he can learn to recognize the strike zone.

  15. LT

    Again, can’t argue with Dough’s key moment of the game. Their best hitter beat our best pitcher and that’s where the game was won. But my key of the game is Elly hit in to a double play with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and the score was 3-1. Man, one big hit there and the game would have turned out differently.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Lucas sims is our best pitcher?

  16. CI3J

    This is David Bell’s team.

    They play uninspired baseball with no urgency and no accountability. And they LOVE playing for Bell because he lets them “do their own thing”.

    The young guys were fun and exciting when they first came up, but it seems like Bell’s “Eh, whatever.” locker room culture has rubbed off on them too.

    Putting players in the best position to succeed? Holding players accountable for not performing? Inspiring or leading by example? Foreign concepts to Bell.

    3 more years. Enjoy.

  17. Protime

    It is no longer a thinking player’s game. Whatever happen to the take sign 3-1 leading off the game. That one is on Bell and his inability to be a competent manager. I’ve said it a million times, he has absolutely no feel for the real time game in front of him, or how to manage it. The name of the game is to always put pressure on your opponent and force him to make the play. If you cede the advantage, you lose leverage. The game, within the game has become non-existing.

  18. Melvin

    “The loss drops Cincinnati 4.0 games back of Chicago for 2nd place in the division and 6.5 behind Milwaukee. They are also current 2.0 games out of the final wild card spot.”

    NOT looking good.

  19. Kevin H

    Bell doesn’t swing the bat, Bell doesn’t pitch or field. The manager doesn’t affect the outcome of a game like some preach….

    And alot of other teams do the same thing the reds do.

    • LarkinPhillips

      So we should just accept poor strategy and poor outcomes consistently. End of season collapses and a 100 loss season. A manager is not the only cause of losses by far. But I can’t pretend that bell is not part of problem.