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New-look Cubs offense erupts for 20 runs in blowout win over Reds

12 months agoAndy Martinez

When Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer looked at the Cubs’ roster ahead of the trade deadline, it was pretty clear that Jeimer Candelario was their number one target on the trade market.

The former Cubs’ prospect was having a resurgent year and his success batting from the left side was immediately appealing.

“The bat lengthens our lineup considerably,” Hoyer said Tuesday afternoon less than an hour after the trade deadline. “I really wanted to find a left-handed bat to kind of balance this out a little bit.”

Tuesday night against the Reds, Candelario and the new-look Cubs’ lineup showed exactly why he was the perfect fit — and why he improves the team offensively. Candelario had the first 4-hit game from a Cubs first baseman this season and the Cubs walloped the Reds 20-9. They smashed 7 home runs, the first time a Cubs team has hit 7 home runs in a game since May 17, 1977 against the Padres, a game they won 23-6. The Cubs had a baserunner in every inning and scored in 6 of their 8 innings at the plate.  

“Just kinda putting the pressure on and continuing to play full baseball games through 9 innings and then you saw again it again today,” Ian Happ said. “That wasn’t 5 in the 1st and then let it coast. It was add on add on and not giving away any at-bats and that’s a really important kinda mantra to kinda go through the season with.”

The Cubs jumped on Reds’ starter Ben Lively early and often. And then again. And again. And again. They homered in each of the first 4 innings, saddling Lively with more earned runs (13) than outs recorded (12).

“I mean we jumped all over that guy,” manager David Ross said. “I thought the way we ran the bases, took advantage early on, stole some bags, the homers. It was a good offensive environment today.”

The first 6 hitters of the game reached base, with Dansby Swanson hitting a 3-run home run to cap a 5-run 1st inning. In the second, Cody Bellinger added a 2-run home run and in the 3rd, Mike Tauchman added a 3-run home run. Swanson connected on his second home run of the game in the 4th and Candelario followed him with a double and later scored on a Nick Madrigal double.

Bellinger, Swanson and Candelario — the Cubs 4-6 hitters — combined to go 9-for-15 with 7 runs, 8 RBI, 3 home runs and a double. It was the exact instant impact that Hoyer and the Cubs would have wanted from their trade acquisition.

That was more than enough support for Justin Steele who wasn’t his stellar self but was more than solid in the outing. Steele allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits with 4 strikeouts.

“Anytime you get a win, put up 20 runs, it’s a good day at the ballpark,” Steele said. “It’s good to be on that side of things. It was a really good day. Awesome to get [Candelario] added to the team.”

Every hitter, including their 2 pinch hitters, recorded a hit and 6 different Cubs hitters had a multi-hit game. It was just the type of offensive performance that they would have drawn up with their new-look offense.

Any time you have that type of production, it means you’re doing something right,” Bellinger said. “It was a good thing to get a W and continue to roll.”

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