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 contest between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, Thursday’s contest was played at the movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The Cubs staked out an early lead, plating three runs (all with two outs) in the first inning. Seiya Suzuki opened the scoring with a double that made it 1-0. Nico Hoener then scored Suzuki, growing the lead to 2-0, before scoring himself on an Ian Happ double. The Cubs would add another run in the fourth inning, on a Nick Madrigal single, but that initial outburst proved to be enough to secure the win.
It’s worth noting that the two sides combined for zero home runs. Last year’s contest saw the White Sox and Yankees launch a total of eight.
Below are four other takeaways from the game, as well as a copy of the commentary CBS Sports provided throughout our live blog coverage.
1. Reds fail to cash in on opportunities
In some ways, the Cubs employed a bend-but-don’t-break 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.
From that point, the Reds wouldn’t put two runners on in a single inning again until the seventh, when they scored their first runs on a Matt Reynolds double. Observe:
2. Smyly shoves
Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly deserves credit for the Reds’ inability to cash in, and for Chicago’s victory. 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 rivaled his best performance of the year, however, as he delivered five shutout innings.
Smyly surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out nine of the 22 batters he faced. He lowered his seasonal ERA to 3.69 in the process. It should be noted that Smyly threw 6 ⅔ scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins his last time out, extending his scoreless streak to 11 ⅔ innings.
3. Contreras, India suffer injuries
Both sides paid a physical toll during Thursday’s game.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras appeared to roll his ankle running the bases. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain as he rolled on the ground, but he was later able to put weight on his left foot and head to the dugout under his own power. Remarkably, he ended up remaining in the game and playing out the string.
Reds second baseman Jonathan India wasn’t as lucky. He suffered a leg contusion after fouling a ball off himself. He exited the game and was replaced by the aforementioned Reynolds to begin the bottom of the fourth.
It’s unclear if either Contreras or India will have limited availability in the coming days because of the injuries they picked up.
4. Construction may prevent 2023 game
Earlier this week Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, a part owner of the Field of Dreams complex, suggested construction could get in the way of MLB hosting the game in 2023. “It’s a lot going on,” he told the Des Moines Register. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.” (The complex is installing youth baseball and softball fields as a means of broadening the events it can host in the future.)
MLB has not yet officially said one way or another if they’ll try to find a way to make the game happen next year. It stands to reason that future games will be played at the site, even if they don’t occur until the 2024 campaign.
As for the Cubs and Reds, they’ll head to Cincinnati to resume their three-game series on Saturday.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism