The Cubs returned to Wrigley Field to battle the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. It began as a pitcher’s duel but, in the end, it was the road team that was able to pull out a victory thanks to a timely home run.
Keegan Thompson and Luis Castillo were both outstanding early on matching zeros through five innings. Cincinnati finally took the lead in the 6th with run-scoring doubles from Brandon Drury and Donovan Solano gave them a 2-0 advantage.
The Cubs rallied against relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel in the bottom of the 7th. Old friend Albert Almora misplayed a fly ball into a RBI double for Christopher Morel. Then a ground out and an infield single from Willson Contreras cut the deficit to 5-3.
Chicago had runners on base in each of the final two innings but they could not cash them in and they went down to defeat. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They were able to get some runners on base against Castillo but could not come through with the big hit. Thompson may have gone one inning too far after showing some fatigue in the 6th.
Eye on the Future
Thompson looked absolutely dominant through the first five frames of his start piling up 8 strikeouts. Nico Hoerner had three more hits as he stays red-hot. Morel is in his first slump with four punch outs on Tuesday.
Stats That Matter
- Contreras was able to reach base three times on Tuesday as he starts to get going again.
- Alfonso Rivas was very good again with a pair of singles and a walk. He also put up excellent at bats all night long.
- Thompson’s numbers don’t reflect his performance: 6.1 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 8 K, and 0 BB.
The Cubs as currently constructed have to score with singles strung together. That is very hard to do against a top-notch pitcher like Castillo. There are signs of positive developments by young players like Thompson and Hoerner that are giving some hope amongst all the losing.