The Cubs squandered an unbelievable start from Javier Assad and were walked off by the Reds for a second consecutive night Saturday. Chicago’s offensive struggles are becoming a major issue in their pursuit of a playoff spot.
Assad and Cincinnati starter Andrew Abbott had very good stuff and were able to keep things scoreless for the first six innings. Jeimer Candelario finally broke the tie with a solo home run to left field in the top of the 7th.
I want Candy! 🍬 pic.twitter.com/s3WeSPv7yY
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 3, 2023
Assad got stronger as the night went on, completing eight shutout frames with minimal run support. That would again prove to be incredibly costly when Mark Leiter Jr. attempted to close it out in the 9th.
A double, a walk, and then a hit by pitch loaded the bases with none out for Elly De La Cruz, who smashed a rocket single to right to even the score. Leiter got a pop out and was then relieved by José Cuas, who gave up a hard grounder to shortstop from Hunter Renfroe. Dansby Swanson made a valiant effort to turn a double play but Renfroe beat the throw and the Reds won. (Box score)
The Cubs got two men on base with only one out in the top of the 9th inning. Once again, they failed to score and would be defeated in the bottom of the frame.
Why the Cubs Lost
They continued to do nothing with the bats and the tremendous pressure it is putting on the bullpen is clearly starting to break them.
Stats That Matter
- Assad got absolutely hosed by his offense and deserved a much better fate: 8 IP, 0 R, 7 H, 7 K, and 1 BB.
- Chicago had just four singles in addition to Candelario’s home run.
The Cubs have to start scoring again or things could get out of hand very quickly. They cannot afford a loss in Sunday’s game, as gut-punch defeats can easily snowball this time of year.
Chicago try to salvage a split Sunday at 11:10am CT. Jameson Taillon gets the nod against rookie Carson Spiers, who makes his MLB debut in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.