Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cubs Have Many Small Wins Despite Loss to Reds


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The Cubs suffered a loss in a shootout against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Drew Smyly was less than admirable, pitching 4.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits, and just three strikeouts. This was a disappointing start considering Smyly’s efficiency last year, but even then, he was pretty inconsistent and struggled especially against opposing NL Central teams. While the game did not go the Cubs’ way in the standings, there were many small wins throughout the game.

Cody Bellinger Gets His First Cubs Hit

In his first at bat, Bellinger took Connor Overton 384 feet, which brought in Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson. This was a huge relief for both fans and, with fair assumption, Bellinger himself. While he finished the game without any other hits, the hitless stretch was finally over and he made a dent in the box score. Not only that, he went through four at-bats without a strikeout. Overall, it was a fantastic game for Bellinger and hopefully there are a few more homeruns soon.

Eric Hosmer Hits Around

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Hosmer was one of the biggest question marks coming into this season, specifically because of his recent struggles and his older age. There is also heavy competition at the position, so there was never a certainty that Hosmer would be a lineup lock every game. He was hitless, like Bellinger, throughout the Brewers series, but on Monday he went 3/5 with w RBIs, a double, and a pair of singles. He was destined (at some point) to start seeing the ball better than he did against Milwaukee, and it’s relieving to see him do it now rather than when it’s too late and his opportunity disappeared.

There’s not much to write about on it, but newly acquired catcher Tucker Barnhart also got his first Cubs hit last night. With Bellinger, Hosmer, and Barnhart all getting their first hits on their new team, it’s clear that all of the bats are starting to wake up. There is absolute reasoning behind all of these guys not breaking the chain in Wrigley, as there is immense pressure playing at Wrigley Field, as many past players have come out and said. Maybe it took a little longer for the impatient fans, but with these three players getting their first hit in the fourth game of the year, signs are looking decent in terms of offense.

Keegan Thompson Saves The Day

Thompson came in the fifth inning to clean up the mess Smyly made, and he left it sparkling. He was able to finish out the game with 3.1 innings pitched, allowed one hit and threw three strikeouts. People can nitpick and wish that the strikeout total was a bit higher after three innings, but he has never been popularized as a strikeout wizard, but rather a pitcher that pitches for contact, and that’s exactly what he did. The Cubs could really use a bullpen arm that could not only survive longer than an inning, but one that can be heavily relied on. Players like Javier Assad and Michael Rucker showed that they are going to have fluctuating outings. Having a go-to arm coming from the bullpen could help the team immensely, and Keegan Thompson is showing he may be that guy.

There were a lot of problems with the game on Monday, no question. Allowing seven runs, all be it to the Reds, is a hard pill to swallow. While it’s easy to lose faith and emphasize all of the negatives, it’s important to see some of the little wins during the season.


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Apr 4, 2023 2:30 pm


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