Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (8/17/21): Cubs 2, Reds 1 – Hendricks Helps Cubs Stop Streaking

It isn’t going to make everyone happily forget the fire sale at the trade deadline that sent away all their favorite players, but the Cubs actually won a game 2-1 against the Reds. The narrow victory ended a 12-game streak of futility that had many legitimately wondering if the Cubs would ever win again.

While some may be mildly annoyed by the win given the Cubs’ growing chance at a top-5 draft pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, there’s still plenty of time for more losses. And of course, it was good to see Kyle Hendricks on the mound to end the losing streak.

Hendricks, the one guy left who fans would actually want in a contending big league rotation, gave up only one hit through five innings in a vintage display. He did give up a long drive to right center to old pal Nick Castellanos in the 6th inning, but that solo shot was all Hendricks allowed on the night.

Rowan Wick ran into a bit of a jam in the bottom of the 7th, but Adam Morgan induced a ground ball to get out of it with the smallest of leads intact. After that, Codi Heuer worked both the 8th and 9th innings, slamming the door on the Reds for his first save.

While the pitching was excellent tonight, the offense did just enough to squeak on by. The scoring started with a Frank Schwindel double to left that scored Rafael Ortega in the 3rd, then concluded with a laser beam solo shot to right from Ian Happ — who has 12 homers at GABP — in the top of the 6th. (Box Score)

Why the Cubs Won

Hendricks looked like The Professor and the bullpen was solid in shutting down the Reds.

Key Moment

With Joey Votto up and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th, Cubs fans had to be feeling a sense of here we go again. Morgan took over for Wick, quickly assuaging fans’ anxiety by getting Votto to ground into the final out of the inning, thus ending the last real threat the Reds would have.

Stats that Matter

  • Since May 9, Hendricks has won 12 games and lost just one (his last outing). If the Cubs are to compete in 2022, Hendricks will anchor the rotation.
  • Schwindel was 2-for-4 with an RBI and is now slashing .382/.414/.727 in 16 games for the Cubs. Who is this guy again?
  • Is Happ finally breaking out of his season-long slump? He’s now 7-for-21 with two home runs and five RBI in his last six games. Here’s hoping.

Bottom Line

Are the Cubs supposed to be winning? I thought the goal now was to lose as much as possible to procure the best draft pick. Either way, the losing streak is over and everyone can focus on how bad the optics are with the new Wrigley Sportsbook and rededication event in the midst of the worst Cubs product in a long time. I mean, honestly, what kind of PR unit allows these kinds of blunders?

On Deck

The Cubs look to (gasp!) win a series Wednesday afternoon as they send (searches notes…) newcomer Adrian Sampson to the mound to take on the Reds’ Tyler Mahle. Let’s hope Sampson hasn’t cut his hair recently. Game time is early at 11:35am CT and can be found on Marquee, MLB Network, and 670 The Score.

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