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Much improved Reds team win first 2 and take series

The Cubs looked like a team that could possibly battle for the NL Central crown after the first 19 games. Over the last 32, they've looked like a team that could have David Ross fighting for his gig.

Jameson Tallion allowed four runs on six hits and struck out five on 80 pitches. He is 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA in eight starts (Photo by John L. Alexander/The Bigs Media)

Words by Eugene McIntosh


Memorial Day weekend is really the first time to take a good look at your team and see where you're headed by the time All-Star break rolls around and the decision to buy or sell starts to loom. After a 12-7 start, the Cubs are 10-22 since and maybe they aren't who we thought they were. (or could be)

"It's been tough," said Cubs starter Jameson Tallion. "The results definitely haven't been great. It's a great group in there. Everyone shows up ready to work. I feel like we flip the page really well. Obviously at this level it comes down to wins and losses. It's one thing to talk about team chemistry and everything but team chemistry is always even better when you're winning. We need to start piling up some W's but everyone is showing up still with a good attitude ready to work. It's been a fun group to be around."

To say Tallion's performance so far this year has been very underwhelming might be doing him some justice. The $68 million dollar man came into the game with no wins and an 8.10 ERA. He left after 4.2 frames winless with an 8.04 ERA. He allowed four runs on six hits and struck out five on 80 pitches as the Reds shook the Friendly Confines with an 8-5 win.

Hunter Greene and the Reds staff dominated the Cubs yesterday as they recorded their first hit in the eighth inning. The Cubs came out swinging with two hits and one run in the bottom of one and four hits and three runs (a Nico Hoerner RBI single and a Dansby Swanson 2 RBI single) in the bottom of two to take a 4-1 lead. Two out hits/RBI could be back breakers for pitchers but Reds starter Brandon Williamson hung in there through 4.1 innings and let the bullpen handle the rest. The pen allowed two hits and one run over the last 4.2 frames shutting the Cubs down again.

Reds second baseman Jonathan India had a career night as his two HRs (2nd multi career HR game) and five RBI (tied his career high) powered the Reds offensively. His two run oppo bomb in the top of five put the Reds on top 5-4 and another 2 run bomb in the top of seven off of Michael Fulmer (who's struggled mightily) was the icing on the cake.

"Just hasn't worked out. We're trying everything right now with the group of guys. A lot of innings to cover there. That's Jamo's longest outing since he's been back so ummm...yeah," manager David Ross said. Ross obviously didn't wanna acknowledge how bad Fulmer has been. He has an 0-4 record with a 7.84 ERA out of the Cubs bullpen over 20.2 innings.

The Cubs had a chance to tie in the bottom of nine with one out and runners on the corners. A Dansby Swanson dribbler and an Ian Happ K ended all hope for the 36,372 in attendance.

The Reds have done damage to Cubs pitching through the first two games. Nine runs and nineteen hits yesterday...eight runs and eleven hits tonight. They're a much improved team from the 100 loss team of last year. They have speed, guys that use the whole field, a couple of boppers and most important....they're much more athletic defensively. Now all they need is Hunter Greene to finally find himself and become the ace they've been waiting on to lead the staff.

The Cubs look to avoid the sweep tomorrow as Drew Smyly takes the bump looking to improve to 6-1 on the season. He'll face Reds righty Graham Ashcraft. First pitch 1:20 pm.

*Ian Happ has more home runs (28) in his career (28) against the Cincinnati Reds than any other team.

*Today was Cubs Hall of Fame radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes' 68th birthday.


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