Monday, April 22, 2024

Cubs Offense Should Get Going vs. Reds


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The Cubs just wrapped up their first series of the season, going 1-2 against the Brewers, while the Reds took two of three against the Pirates. The Reds, while playing what is one of the worst teams in baseball, looked good for those 27 innings. As for the Cubs, while looking subpar at the plate, the pitching looked great, specifically from Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele.

The Cubs lead the Reds 25-23 since the 2020 season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

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Monday 4/3: Drew Smyly vs. Connor Overton

Tuesday 4/4: Hayden Wesneski vs. Luis Cessa

Wednesday 4/5: Marcus Stroman vs. Hunter Greene

Key Inactives

Nothing notable from this past weekend that highlights the series’ inactives. For the Cubs, Seiya Suzuki is still recovering from his strained left oblique. The Reds will continue to be without Joey Votto and Nick Senzel.

Game Times and TV Channels

Monday 4/3: 5:40pm CST, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday 4/4: 5:40pm CST, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday 4/5: 11:35am CST, Marquee Sports Network & MLB Network

What the Cubs are Looking For

The Cubs really need to buckle down and focus on this series, and leave Milwaukee behind. The hitting looked horrific, besides Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ. Sunday’s game woke up some of the bats, but not close enough to put pressure on the Brewers throughout the game.

The pitching, as stated earlier, looked fantastic for the first two games, holding the Brewers to just four runs combined. Most of that is coming from Stroman and Steele, as the bullpen has looked quite shaky. From the fans’ perspective, there is no one to blame other than manager David Ross due to his poor bullpen decision making. Specifically, leaving in Julian Merryweather on Sunday after he allowed three runs to score before getting two outs and then two more runs before he was finally lifted with two outs in the inning.

On Saturday, Javier Assad was left in the game after allowing a pair of runs, which ended up being the winning runs of the game. The complaint against Ross is that he is leaving pitchers in too long when it is evident they don’t have it that day, and then by the time the pitcher is pulled, the damage is already done and the writing is on the wall.

Cody Bellinger will also need to get some hits together, after the first series left him 0/11 with one walk and four strikeouts. Cubs fans were extremely hopeful that he would return to his MVP caliber-self, but his plate appearances versus the Brewers were less than ideal. Still, this was only three of 162 games, so there is still plenty of time for him to get back into it and start swinging better.

Historically, the Cubs play really well at Great American Ballpark. This series, on paper, should be heavily in the Cubs favor. The Reds have nowhere near the necessary talent to compete, in terms of both their pitching and hitting. The next few series for the Cubs are difficult and include teams such as the Mariners, the Dodgers twice, and the Padres. There is not much room to lose games that should be winnable, and these next three qualify as winnable games.

Again, fans shouldn’t overreact and assume this team is in turmoil over the tough matchup against the Brewers, but this coming series should give them a sign into what this team is fully capable of.


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Apr 3, 2023 4:39 pm

This worries me!! Year three for Coach Ross and this is exactly what I, as a fan, want to see if Ross can Coach. Leaving pitchers in longer than usual is concerning 😟

Apr 3, 2023 3:55 pm


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