Justin Steele (3-2, 3.48 ERA) took the mound against Sonny Gray (7-6, 3.89 ERA) in the series opener, looking to build off his strong start in Minnesota on September 1. Steele wasn’t quite as sharp in this one, though he did manage to keep the Reds off the board through the first five innings before running into trouble.
The Cubs came out blazing in the top of the 1st thanks to an Ian Happ three-run bomb. The home team maintained their advantage until the Reds scored three in the 6th to tie the game. That would be all she wrote for Steele, who gave up three earned runs on four hits, two walks, and two hit batters with four strikeouts in five innings of work.
In the 8th, Frank Schwindel (who else?) came through in the clutch to put the Cubs on top once again with a go-ahead RBI single. Adam Morgan would close it out with a 1-2-3 9th for his second save of the season as the Cubs went on to win by a final of 4-3. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
Early power and late-inning heroics resulted in today’s victory.
After the Cubs gave up a three-run lead in the 6th, Schwindel saved the day with yet another big hit. Down 0-2 in the count, he shortened his stroke and took the pitch the other way, reminiscent of a former fan-favorite the Cubs just traded to the Bronx.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs’ seven-game winning streak is their longest of the season.
- Schwindel went 2-for-4 with an RBI and is now batting an eye-opening .343.
- Willson Contreras also went 2-for-4 as he attempts to shake off the rust from his recent stint on the IL.
- Scott Effross pitched two scoreless innings to get the win and move to 2-0.
Schwindel seems to have a knack for producing when it counts the most and Monday was no exception. He continues to make a strong case to be the Cubs’ everyday first baseman next year.
Adrian Sampson (0-1, 1.59 ERA) squares off against Wade Miley (11-5, 2.97 ERA) in game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CT on Marquee, 670 The Score, and WRTO for Spanish speakers.