Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (9/19/23): Cubs 14, Pirates 1 – Canario Helps Blast Away Losing Streak

The Cubs returned to Wrigley Field after a horrible road trip and then had to wait an hour and a half for rain to clear enough to begin their game with the Pirates. It was definitely worth the wait, as they pounded Pittsburgh to earn a much-needed win in the playoff chase.

Dansby Swanson put the Cubs ahead in the bottom of the 1st when he took Pirates opener Bailey Falter deep for a two-run shot into the basket in left. Patrick Wisdom hit a ringing RBI double off of Quinn Priester in the 2nd and would later come around to score on a Nico Hoerner sac fly to make it a 4-0.

Javier Assad made his only mistake in the 3rd inning when Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a solo shot against him for the Pirates’ only run. Seiya Suzuki got that tally right back in the bottom of the frame with his own home run to left field. Assad ended up going five strong and might have had more in the tank, but David Ross managed this one like a playoff game.

It was at that point that the night turned into the Alexander Canario show. The young outfielder made his first career start as a DH and ripped a double over the left fielder’s head for his first hit and RBI in the 6th to effectively end the game. However, the fireworks were just getting started.

Canario came up to bat in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded against Kyle Nicolas, who was making his MLB debut. That’s when the man with just one plate appearance in nearly three weeks prior to Tuesday connected with a slider spinning in the middle of the plate and launched a grand slam to left that sent Wrigley Field into a frenzy.

The Cubs kept piling on, seemingly taking out their frustrations from the last week on the Pirates bullpen. Cody Bellinger added a three-run tank and Chicago put up a football score in the 14-1 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Pirates had two men on base with one out in the top of the 1st inning. Assad was able to get the next two hitters out and keep the game tied, allowing the Cubs to grab the lead in the bottom half and not look back.

Why the Cubs Won

The offense finally woke up in a big way and buried Pittsburgh, something they badly needed. They also got a nice pitching performance by their starter and the bullpen.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad was struggling a bit with control early but did a very nice job and piled up the strikeouts: 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 8 K, and 1 BB.
  • Suzuki got on base four times Tuesday, including three hits; even his out just missed leaving the yard.
  • Canario probably should get another start after driving in five and clubbing two extra-base hits.

Bottom Line

That was an absolutely massive win for the Cubs after their skid on the road, but it can’t just be a one-off. They have to keep winning to put the pressure on everyone they are competing with in the playoff chase. Canario’s injection of energy into the lineup was important after the stagnant performances recently and it’d be great if that carries over through the next two weeks.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Wednesday at 6:40pm CT. Justin Steele gets the start against Mitch Keller with Marquee and 670 The Score carrying the broadcasts as usual.

Back to top button