MLB 2016 Game #1: Reds vs. CubsThe last time I stepped inside Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets were about to take the field for Game 3 of the 2015 National League Championship Series. And when I left the park that evening, the Cubs were one loss away from being swept out of the playoffs. The Mets grabbed 3-0 series lead by defeating the Cubs, 5-2. While the score was close, tied 2-2 after five innings, the Cubs never truly threatened to take control of the game.
This evening, I am making my return to the 102-year-old ballpark. Just more than one week into the new season, the Cubs sit atop the National League Central with a 6-1 record. They opened the 2016 campaign on the road by demolishing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the brief two-game series, then taking two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Monday night, the Cubs opened at Wrigley Field with a triumphant rally late to knock off the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3.
Tonight, the Reds send Alfredo Simon (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound. During his only start of the season, he surrendered two runs (one earned) in five innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates but he settled for a no-decision. In 15 career games against the Cubs, Simon is 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA.
The Cubs will answer with John Lackey (1-0, 9.00 ERA) making his first start at Wrigley Field since joining the Cubs. His last start at Wrigley Field was as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. During his lone start of 2016, gave up six earned runs over six innings, but was bailed out when the Cubs plated 14 runs.
Fun Fact: The last time I saw the Reds in action was on September 20, 2015. The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Reds, 8-4, at Miller Park.