The Chicago Cubs will attempt to win their sixth consecutive game Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
Chicago took the opener of this three-game series on Friday as David Bote’s home run in the fifth inning was the difference in a 1-0 victory.
Bote’s homer was one of only three hits for the Cubs on a cold and windy afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Still, it was enough.
One run against the Cincinnati hitters probably won’t work the rest of the series. Bote’s shot down the left field line was the only ball that got close to leaving the park Friday.
“That’s how you have to hit it, right on the line, high-velocity and even his in the moment felt like it took a left turn,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “Some guys hit some balls that normally are homers, their players as well. It was one of those days where you think you have to play small ball, bunt, move guys over and we win on a homer. Crazy day at Wrigley Field.”
The Cubs will start Zach Davies (2-2, 4.96 ERA) on Saturday as he makes his 15th career start against the Reds.
Davies will make his team-high 11th start of the season and has received no-decisions in his past three.
On Sunday, Davies pitched five scoreless innings in St. Louis, allowing four hits and three walks with three strikeouts. His last win came May 7 against Pittsburgh.
In his last start against the Reds in Cincinnati on May 1, Davies allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings. He is now winless in his past four starts against the Reds, going 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA (15 earned runs in 16 innings).
Davies last recorded a win against the Reds on April 18, 2018, when he gave up no runs off three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The Reds will start Luis Castillo (1-7, 7.61 ERA). The ace who has been the Reds’ Opening Day starter for the past few seasons has had a rough month.
In his past seven starts, Castillo is 0-6 with a 7.88 ERA. In 32 innings during that stretch, he has given up 47 hits and 28 earned runs.
Castillo’s month started against Chicago. He took the loss after giving up three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“We need Luis Castillo. He knows that,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “A lot of great players have been through these tough times. The great thing about it is Luis Castillo is still young. He’s had success in the league, a lot of it, and we know that he’s going to get better going through this.”
In his last start on Sunday, Castillo gave up three runs in the first inning. He has given up 18 earned runs in the first inning of games this season.
Speaking through an interpreter, Castillo said it was just more of the same in what has been a rough season.
“It was just another bad day,” Castillo said. “What more can I say?”
–Field Level Media