The Cubs entered Thursday looking for a series win against the Reds. Chicago was ahead at multiple points during the game but more bullpen issues cost them a win.
Starting pitchers Adrian Sampson and Luis Cessa were both sharp early in the game and neither side scored a run through four innings. The Cubs finally broke through in the bottom of the 5th thanks to a leadoff triple from Nico Hoerner, who would then scamper home on a P.J. Higgins sacrifice fly.
Rowan Wick took over in the top of the 8th with men on first and third and two out. Wick proceeded to walk the next three hitters to tie the game at 2-2. Seiya Suzuki gave the Cubs the lead right back in the bottom of the frame when he took Alexis Diaz deep to left for a solo home run.
Mark Leiter Jr.came on in the 9th for the save and ran into immediate problems with a walk and an Alejo Lopez triple to even the score. Jonathan India then followed with the game-winning single to left field and Chicago went down to a 4-3 defeat. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Cubs relief pitchers just cannot get anyone out right now and it isn’t like they were facing a daunting lineup. Offensively, the Cubs could have done more damage against a bad Cincinnati staff.
Eye on the Future
- Hoerner had a sun-aided double to go with his triple on Thursday.
- Suzuki is really starting to turn it on down the stretch, which is good to see.
- Sampson had a quality start on Thursday but still could not get the win: 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 K, and 0 BB.
To state the obvious, the Cubs are a bad team in 2022 and losses like Thursday are going to happen. It goes almost without saying that Chicago will have to massively upgrade their bullpen for 2023 if they want to get close to a winning record.
The San Francisco Giants come to Wrigley for three games starting Friday at 3:05pm CT. It is a battle of lefties between Drew Smyly and Carlos Rodòn with a broadcast available on MLB Network (out-of-market-only), Marquee Sports Network, and 670 The Score.