Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (8/2/23): Cubs 16, Reds 6 – Enough Already, Cubs Pound Reds Again

The Cubs crushed the Reds for a second consecutive game at Wrigley Field Wednesday to move within three games of first in the National League Central. Chicago fell behind early but stormed back with the wind blowing out and Cincinnati completely melted down on defense to turn the game into a blowout.

The Reds began the scoring against Drew Smyly with a two-run homer from Spencer Steer in the 1st inning and a solo shot from Cub killer Joey Votto in the 2nd. Christopher Morel cut the deficit to one when he crushed a Brandon Williamson changeup for a two-run bomb off the left-field video board in the 3rd.

Votto hit his second longball in the top of the 4th to build the Reds’ lead to 5-2. Dansby Swanson began the Cubs’ offensive outburst with his own solo dinger in the bottom of the frame. Morel hit a double in the 5th inning off of Buck Farmer to score one run and Cody Bellinger had an RBI groundout to tie the score.

Chicago went ahead for good in the bottom of the 6th inning starting with an RBI double from Yan Gomes. Lucas Sims came in at that point and allowed a single to Seiya Suzuki, then a double to pinch-hitter Mike Tauchman to put the home team up 8-5.

That’s when Cincinnati’s defense completely collapsed, beginning with a throwing error by Nick Senzel which brought home two more runs to make it 10-5 after six. The Cubs answered a solo homer in the top of the 7th with another rally in the bottom of the frame.

Ian Happ had a rare right-handed dinger to begin the inning and Tauchman had a second two-bagger to bring home another. Senzel then committed consecutive errors at third base, making it three overall for him, to allow two more tallies to cross the plate.

Catcher Luke Maile pitched for the second night in a row and surrendered solo homers to Happ and Suzuki as the North Siders coasted to a 16-6 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

Even though the Cubs were already ahead by three runs, Senzel’s two-run error in the 6th really seemed to unnerve Cincinnati and the game was never close after.

Why the Cubs Won

The offense once again ground down the Reds’ starting pitcher and forced them to use their overworked bullpen in the middle innings. They also took advantage of their opponent’s mistakes and buried them late.

Stats That Matter

  • Smyly got victimized by the wind a little bit and also by Votto, but he got more than enough run support: 4.2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 7 K, and 0 BB.
  • Jeimer Candelario reached base five times Wednesday with four hits and a walk and he is 7-for-8 in his first two games as a Cub.
  • Morel seemed to handle hitting second in the lineup very well with three RBIs.
  • Michael Fulmer struck out three in 1.2 innings to keep Cincinnati scoreless while his team rallied ahead.

Bottom Line

This 36-run outburst marks the most the Cubs have scored in consecutive games since 1894. While this lineup is obviously not going to produce that many runs consistently, it is very formidable and there are few weak spots at this point. The Cubs have turned the Reds bullpen into hamburger the last two games and Cincinnati’s starter Thursday is going to be under tremendous pressure to go at least six innings. It has really been fun to watch.

On Deck

Chicago goes for the series win Thursday at 7:05pm CT. Jameson Taillon faces off against Luke Weaver in a broadcast available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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