It’s been a frustrating week for the Cubs, and the outfield trio of Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Jason Heyward apparently decided to take it out on Reds pitching. They combined for six home runs, driving in all ten Cubs runs as the Northsiders earned a series split.
As seems to be the 2020 way of doing things, the win was somewhat overshadowed by Tyler Chatwood’s early exit. After spiking a couple of pitches in the bottom of the third, Chatwood motioned to the dugout. The trainer came out, and Chatwood immediately left the game. The Cubs announced later that he left due to right elbow discomfort.
The bullpen rose to the occasion, combining for 7.2 innings of one-run ball. Jose Quintana gave up the sole run, but looked sharp in three innings, allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out six.
Having already let the cat out of the bag, today’s “good” award goes to the Cubs outfield. With all the Cubs struggles of late, Happ and Heyward have been the lone bright spots. It was encouraging to see Schwarber join in the success. Their performance marked a major league first. In the lengthy history of the game, this was the first time a trio of outfielders all had multi-homer performances for the same team in the same game.
A special shoutout goes to Collin Rea, who logged his first major league win.
Ryan Tepera had managed to work himself into the so-called “circle of trust” for Cubs skipper David Ross, but he has struggled of late. In his lone inning of work, he walked three. While he did not allow a run, he came into the game with a five-run lead. In such situations, the Cubs need relievers to throw strikes. Nick Castellanos had a chance to do some real damage with the bases loaded and two outs, but a nice lunging catch by Nico Hoerner bailed out Tepera.
Tyler Chatwood had been enjoying one of the best stretches of his career as a starting pitcher early on in the season before a back injury sent him to the IL. Chatwood has never run away from his struggles, refusing to make excuses, and has been willing to fill whatever role the Cubs have asked of him. One can only hope the elbow injury isn’t serious. He’s worked so hard to get his career back on track.
’Tis the Season
Before the game, the Cubs completed a trade for Tampa Bay Rays slugger Jose Martinez for two players to be named later (or one player and cash). The former Cardinal has slashed .319/.392/.554 against left-handed pitching, and area the Cubs have really struggled. While perhaps not the blockbuster acquisition Nicholas Castellanos was a season ago, Martinez brings familiarity with the NL Central to the lineup and a big bat for the DH spot against LHP that the Cubs have been sorely lacking.
The Cubs have an off-day tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates for a three-game set. The Buccos have been giving the NL Central fits of late, sweeping the Brewers a week ago and sweeping the Cardinals in a doubleheader on Thursday.
Featured Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images
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