Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/6/24): Dodgers 4, Cubs 1 – Missed Early Chances Snap Five-Game Winning Streak

The Cubs were hoping to extend their five-game winning streak against the Dodgers on a cold and sunny Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Chicago had a pair of golden opportunities in the first two innings against ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto but could not capitalize as Los Angeles eventually went on to win.

Ian Happ doubled, Seiya Suzuki walked, and Cody Bellinger reached on an infield hit to load the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 1st, but Yamamoto struck out the next three batters to escape the jam. The Cubs again filled the bases with two outs in the 2nd before Bellinger was frozen on a called third to strand the runners again.

Jordan Wicks had plenty of traffic on the bases during his start as well, though he kept the Dodgers off the board through four frames. The young lefty got two outs in the 5th inning before coming out with two men on base.

José Cuas relieved Wicks and had absolutely no control, walking Teoscar Hernández on four consecutive pitches and throwing a very wild pitch to Max Muncy that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Muncy then smoked a rocket single off the right field wall to score a pair and put Los Angeles ahead 3-0.

A Miles Mastrobuoni throwing error at third base led to an RBI single by Miguel Rojas in the 8th inning. A Dansby Swanson single followed by a double from Michael Busch put runners on second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the 9th, but only one run scored and the Cubs dropped the game 4-1. (Box score)

Key Moment

Using Cuas is always a risk with his control issues and he did not have it on Saturday. They were using him in a pretty low-impact spot in the 5th inning but his poor performance was the deciding factor. His position in the bullpen does not look very strong at the moment.

Why the Cubs Lost

They had a chance to get on the board early and could not make it happen. The bats did nothing after that and the Dodgers hitters weren’t going to be quiet the whole game.

Stats That Matter

  • Wicks battled against a very good lineup and deserved a better fate: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
  • Happ got on base two more times Saturday to continue his hot start to the season.

Bottom Line

Teams as good as the Dodgers don’t give up many scoring chances and they’re going to win almost every time if their opponents don’t take advantage of those opportunities. Bullpens are still fluid early in the season and the Cubs are trying to figure out who will be reliable options as the year goes on. That means there are going to be some ugly outings like the one by Cuas while Craig Counsell figures out what he has in the relief corps.

On Deck

The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:20pm CT as Shōta Imanaga makes his second start against Gavin Stone in a contest airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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