Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/7/24): Reds 3, Cubs 2 – Another Sloppy Effort Leads to Loss

The Cubs’ inability to execute on defense came back to haunt them yet again in Cincinnati Friday night. Two crucial mistakes in a single inning allowed the Reds to take a lead they would never give up, as Chicago wasted a very good effort by Justin Steele in another tough loss.

Both starters, Steele and Nick Lodolo, were sharp early and the Cubs starter retired the first 10 batters he faced. The road team had a complete fundamental breakdown with two outs in the bottom of the 4th inning. They caught Elly De La Cruz breaking off of first base and had him picked off, but Michael Busch threw low to David Bote at second base and the lightning-quick Reds shortstop was safe.

It appeared as though Steele had saved his teammate when he proceeded to strike out Spencer Steer swinging. Unfortunately, catcher Miguel Amaya was unable to stop the pitch and it rolled far enough away for Steer to reach base. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Chicago hurler gave up a two-run double to Tyler Stephenson before he could record the fifth out of the inning.

Stuart Fairchild tacked on an RBI single in the bottom of the 5th to give Cincinnati a 3-0 advantage. Dansby Swanson hit a solo shot off of Lodolo to get the Cubs on the board in the 6th.

Amaya tried to make up for his earlier mistake with a two-out RBI double against closer Alexis Diaz in the 9th that just barely missed being a tying home run That was all the North Siders would get, however, as Patrick Wisdom struck out to end the game. (Box score)

Key Moment

The dropped third strike was called a wild pitch but it certainly seems like Amaya should’ve been able to knock it down. He was also slow to react and throw to first. Between that and the bungled pickoff attempt, a problem multiple times already this season for the Cubs, they gave Cincinnati golden opportunities that were quickly leveraged.

Why the Cubs Lost

The offense could have done more in this one but the loss definitely sits on the sloppy defense. A quality starting pitching performance was squandered by a lack of execution.

Stats That Matter

  • Steele deserved a much better fate and his wild pitch should be scored a passed ball, which would make two of the three runs he allowed unearned: 7 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 7 K, and 1 BB.
  • Seiya Suzuki was hit in the back by the catcher’s throw when he stole second base in the 1st inning and eventually had to come out of the game.
  • Busch reached base three times Friday with a double, a single, and a walk.

Bottom Line

It’s getting frustrating to watch the Cubs continuously do all the little things wrong this season. It would be one thing if it was an individual player having a bad year but it seems like it’s everyone on the roster. It reflects poorly on the whole organization and, frankly, this isn’t a good enough team to overcome so many mistakes. If they don’t tighten things up in a hurry, it might get even uglier.

On Deck

The Cubs try to pull their heads out of their collective backsides Saturday afternoon at 3:10pm CT. Ben Brown toes the rubber against Andrew Abbott in a matchup available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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