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.
|Chicago Cubs (72-62)
|Cincinnati Reds (69-67)
|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