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 the New York Yankees, Thursday’s contest was held at the Dyersville, Iowa, film lot.
The Cubs took an early lead and put down three runs (all with two outs) in the first inning. Seiya Suzuki opened the scoring with a brace to make it 1-0. Nico Hoener then scored for Suzuki and extended the lead to 2-0 before finding a double from Ian Happ. The Cubs added another run in the fourth inning, on a single from Nick Madrigal, but that initial outburst proved enough to secure the win.
It’s worth noting that the two sides hit zero home runs together. In last year’s competition, the White Sox and Yankees started eight total.
Below are four more insights from the game, along with a copy of CBS Sports’ commentary provided on our live blog coverage.
1. Reds fail to take advantage of opportunities
In a way, the Cubs deployed a defense that didn’t flex but didn’t break in the early stages. The Reds put two runners on base in each of the first three innings, but couldn’t convert any of them into runs.
The Reds would not field two runners in a single inning from that point until the seventh, when they scored their first runs with a double from Matt Reynolds. Watch:
2. Smyly slides
Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly deserves credit for the Reds’ inability to make money and Chicago’s win. He went into the night with a 3.97 ERA (105 ERA+) and a 3.47 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first 14 starts this season. However, Thursday’s outing rivaled his best performance of the year when he delivered five shutout innings.
Smyly gave up four hits and two walks while knocking out nine of the 22 batters he faced. In the process, he lowered his seasonal ERA to 3.69. It should be noted that Smyly threw 6 ⅔ innings scoreless 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 Willon Contreras appeared to roll his ankle while running the bases. He appeared to be in great pain as he rolled on the ground, but was later able to put weight on his left foot and walk to the dugout under his own power. Remarkably, he stayed in the game at the end and played the string out.
Reds second baseman Jonathan India was not so lucky. He suffered a leg contusion after fouling a ball off himself. He left the game and was replaced by the aforementioned Reynolds to start the end of the fourth.
It’s unclear if Contreras or India will have limited availability in the coming days due to the injuries they’ve picked up.
4. Construction can prevent the 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. “There’s a lot going on,” he told the Des Moines Register. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium isn’t prepared.” (The complex is installing youth baseball and softball fields to expand the events it may host in the future.)
MLB has yet to officially say one way or another if they will try to figure out 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.
The Cubs and Reds will travel to Cincinnati on Saturday to continue their three-game streak.