The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 Thursday night in the 2022 Major League Baseball 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 film’s site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The Cubs took an early lead, scoring three runs (all with two outs) in the first inning. Seiya Suzuki opened the scoring with a brace that made it 1-0. Nico Hoener then scored for Suzuki, making it 2-0, before scoring himself on a brace from Ian Happ. The Cubs would add another run in the fourth inning, on a Nick Madrigal single, but that initial outburst proved enough to secure the victory.
It should be noted that the two teams combined for zero homers. Last year’s contest saw the White Sox and Yankees pitch a total of eight.
Below are four more takeaways from the game, along with a copy of the CBS Sports commentary provided throughout our live blog coverage.
1. Reds don’t seize opportunities
In some ways, the Cubs used a bend-but-don’t-break defense early on. The Reds put two runners on goal in each of the first three innings but couldn’t convert any of them into runs.
From that point on, the Reds no longer put two runners in a single inning until the seventh, when they scored their first runs on a brace from Matt Reynolds. Observe:
2. Smyly hustle
Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly deserves credit for the Reds’ inability to cash in and for Chicago’s win. He entered the night with a 3.97 ERA (105 ERA+) and a 3.47 strikeout ratio in his first 14 starts this season. Thursday’s outing rivaled his best performance of the year, however, as he posted five shutout innings.
Smyly allowed 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 pitched 6 ⅔ scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins in his last outing, extending his scoreless streak to 11 ⅔ innings.
3. Contreras, India, suffers injuries
Both teams paid a heavy price in Thursday’s game.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras appeared to roll his ankle while running for the bases. He seemed to be in a lot of pain while rolling on the ground, but was then able to put weight on his left foot and walk towards the dugout under his own power. Remarkably, he ended up staying in the game and playing the ropes.
Reds second baseman Jonathan India was not so lucky. He suffered a bruised leg after committing a foul on himself. He left the game and was replaced by the aforementioned Reynolds to start bottom of fourth.
It’s unclear if Contreras or India will have limited availability in the coming days due to the injuries they suffered.
4. Construction may prevent the 2023 game
Earlier this week, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, co-owner of the Field of Dreams complex, suggested construction could prevent MLB from hosting the game in 2023. “There’s a lot going on,” he said. declared to the Des Moines Register. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium is not prepared.” (The complex is installing youth baseball and softball fields to expand the events it can host in the future.)
MLB has yet to officially say one way or another whether it will try to find a way to make the game happen next year. It stands to reason that future games will be played on the site, even if they don’t take place until the 2024 campaign.
As for the Cubs and Reds, they will travel to Cincinnati to resume their three-game series on Saturday.