The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Thursday night in the 2022 edition of Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams game. Like last year’s matchup between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, Thursday’s game was played at a film site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The Cubs took an early lead, plating three runs (all with two outs) in the first inning. Seiya Suzuki scored a double to make it 1-0. Nico Hohner then scored for Suzuki before Ian Happ scored a double to extend the lead to 2-0. The Cubs would add another run in the fourth inning on a Nick Madrigal single, but that early burst was enough to secure the win.
Notably, the two teams combined for zero home runs. The White Sox and Yankees introduced a total of eight in last year’s contest.
Below are four other takeaways from the game, along with a copy of CBS Sports’ commentary provided throughout our live blog coverage.
1. Reds fail to cash in on opportunities
In some ways, the Cubs used a bent-but-not-broken defense in the early stages. The Reds put two runners on base in each of the first three innings, but were unable to convert any of them into runs.
Since then, the Reds would not put two runners on in the same inning again until the seventh, when they scored their first run on a Matt Reynolds double. Note:
2. Smiley shoves
Cubs left-hander Drew Smiley deserves credit for the Reds’ impotence and Chicago’s win. He entered the night with a 3.97 ERA (105 ERA+) and a 3.47 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first 14 starts this season. Thursday’s outing matched his best performance of the year as he pitched five shutout innings.
Smiley surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out nine of the 22 batters he faced. He lowered his season ERA to 3.69. Smiley threw 6 ⅔ scoreless innings in his last out against the Miami Marlins, extending his scoreless streak to 11 ⅔ innings.
3. Contreras, India suffers injuries
Both sides paid a physical toll during Thursday’s game.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras appeared to sprain his ankle on the bases. He appeared to be in great pain as he rolled on the floor, but later he was able to put weight on his left leg and dig under his own power. Remarkably, he stayed in the game and played the string.
Reds second baseman Jonathan India was not so lucky. He misses a ball and injures his leg. He left the game and was replaced by the aforementioned Reynolds to start the fourth down.
It is unclear whether either Contreras or India will be available on a limited basis in the coming days due to their injuries.
4. Construction could block 2023 Games
Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, part owner of the Field of Dreams complex, announced earlier this week. It has been suggested that construction could get on track to host an MLB game in 2023. “It’s happening a lot,” he told the Des Moines Register. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium isn’t ready.” (The campus is also installing youth baseball and softball fields as a means of expanding the number of events it can host in the future.)
MLB has yet to officially say one way or the other that they will try to find a way to host the game next year. This is because future games will be played at the site, even if it doesn’t take place until the 2024 campaign.
As for the Cubs and Reds, they will travel to Cincinnati on Saturday to resume their three-game series.
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