Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/24/22): Frank the Tank Feasts on Oppo Taco Twosday
The Cubs have played some bad baseball at times this season, but the Reds are making it feel like 2016 all over again. Using a mix of contact and power the likes of which not even the most optimistic fans thought them capable, the visitors jumped out to an early lead and then made Marcus Stroman‘s shaky 1st inning irrelevant with crooked numbers in two subsequent innings.
Christopher Morel got the party started with a leadoff single and glided to third when Rafael Ortega followed with a base hit. Seiya Suzuki opened the scoring with a sac fly and Frank Schwindel lined a two-run homer just over the wall in right-center for a 3-0 advantage.
Stroman almost gave it back when he allowed singles to four of the first five batters he faced, but he finally escaped after 37 pitches with a one-run lead. He needed only 60 more pitches for the next four innings, allowing no more hits and striking out seven en route to the win.
The Cubs effectively put the game out of reach in the 3rd when Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom went back-to-back yet again…with singles. They both came around to score on an Alfonso Rivas triple to right, though neither had to run much faster than they do during their infamously brisk home run trots.
Schwindel struck again two innings later, blasting his second oppo taco of the game to right to lead off the 5th. The rest of the inning saw four singles, a walk, and a pair of groundouts to push four more runs across and turn this one into a blowout.
The Cubs added one more in the 9th against shortstop Matt Reynolds, who ended up hitting two batters with eephus pitches. As Boog Sciambi and Ryan Dempster discussed on the broadcast, the farce of having position players pitching could be ended by simply having the losing team forfeit at that point. Going with a non-pitcher is an admission that the game is over, so why not just make it official and save everyone the time?
Oh well, a win is a win and the Cubs have now logged a pair of get-right games in Cincy. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
They pounded out 15 hits and pushed 11 runs across against a team that waved the white flag well before the season started. Reds starter Tyler Mahle has dominated them at times in the past, but he was no match for his rivals in this one.
Schwindel’s first homer felt pretty big and his second one more or less iced it, but the Rivas triple accounted for the game-winning runs. Honestly, this one felt like it would fall the Cubs’ way when they scored on their third AB of the game.
Stats That Matter
- Schwindel was 3-for-5 with the first multi-homer game of his career to raise his average to .233
- Six Cubs, including the bottom five hitters in the lineup, had multiple hits
- Wisdom was 2-for-5 but failed to homer for the first time in five games
- Robert Gsellman‘s ERA rose to 5.54 with two earned over three innings, but he picked up the save
This was a fun game to watch and probably to play as well, particularly considering how futile everything looked for a while last week. You almost have to feel bad for Reds fans, who have had little to cheer about over the past few seasons and now can only root for the best possible draft pick.
These two teams are back at it Wednesday night, weather permitting, with Kyle Hendricks scheduled to take on Luis Castillo. There are strong chances of thunderstorms all afternoon, which just freaking figures because I’m supposed to go to the game, so it seems there’s a high likelihood of it getting banged.