Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 8, Reds 3

The Cubs won this one in relatively comfortable fashion, building a decent lead early, adding to it throughout, and it was generally smooth sailing from there. Nice to be chill during a game.

Justin Steele had some explosive stuff tonight, and although the command of the fastball wasn’t always spot on, the Reds weren’t able to do much with his misses (at least until later on) because the four-seamer just gets on you so quickly. The slider was a great wipeout pitch for him tonight, and in total he struck out six over 5.0 innings. The defense helped him when he got into trouble in the 4th, but then the defense put him into trouble in the 5th and a little in the 6th, so I think it evens out.

You would of course love for Steele to go deeper, but some days he’s gonna be racking up the strikeouts in deeper counts, and that’s going to mean a shorter outing. I think he might’ve been able to get through that 6th inning, but with the lead where it was, I did understand David Ross pulling him (leaving the obligatory dirty inning for Scott Effross to clean up, which of course he did).

Huge night at the plate from Willson Contreras, who doubled twice and homered (he also got hit by a pitch).

Ian Happ was on base three times, plus Nico Hoerner drove in a couple with a double, and Christopher Morel homered. Good offensive night all around.

The only real downside to the evening was Christopher Morel taking one to the groin in the bottom of the 8th after having a great game.

Full box score.

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