The Cubs were looking to extend their winning streak to five games against the Reds Friday afternoon as they continue their late-season surge. Chicago jumped all over Cincinnati early and cruised to victory today.
Cincinnati took an early lead in the top of the 2nd when Jake Fraley hit a solo home run off Adrian Sampson. The Cubs came right back on Graham Ashcraft in the bottom of the frame. Nico Hoerner yanked a two-run double into the left field corner and Christopher Morel lashed his own two-bagger to right to put the home team up 3-1.
In the 3rd inning, a throwing error by Reds infielder Spencer Steer with the bases loaded allowed two runs to score. Yan Gomes hit a ground rule double just inside the line to right field and the Cubs had a 6-1 cushion.
That was more than enough for Sampson who dominated Cincinnati in seven strong innings and Chicago rolled to an easy win. (box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Another outstanding pitching performance combined with early offense turned this game into a rout.
Eye on the Future
- Hoerner had three RBI and he hasn’t missed a beat since returning from a triceps injury.
- Franmil Reyes doubled and walked on Friday.
- Sampson was awesome, working quickly and getting outs early in the count: 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 6 H, and 2 BB.
- Another day, another three times on base for Ian Happ.
- Gomes got two knocks and reached 10 years of Major League service time, so a big congratulations to him.
Sampson finished the month of September with an ERA of 1.16 in five starts. I think it is safe to say he has earned a role on the Cubs for 2023. What role remains to be seen, but he has definitely forced his way into the conversation.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 1:20pm CT. Drew Smyly is back to battle fellow lefty Nick Lodolo in a broadcast available on MLB Network (out-of-market only) and Marquee Sports Network.