After taking the final two games in Miami, the Cubs had a chance to extend their mini-win streak to a third consecutive game Thursday night in Pittsburgh. Once again, the pitching staff was outstanding in leading Chicago to the triumph.
Hayden Wesneski was very good Thursday, including an immaculate 5th inning in which he struck out the side on nine pitches. It was the first time a Cubs pitcher had accomplished that feat since LaTroy Hawkins against the Marlins on September 11, 2004. There are actually only three more such innings in team history, at least according to the record books.
Michael Hermosillo knocked a runs with a single in the top of the 7th inning, which ended up being very important when Kevin Newman homered in the bottom of the frame to make it a 3-2 game. Wesneski was then pulled and the Cubs bullpen was able to strand the bases loaded and stay on top. Mark Leiter Jr. got the final out and he went the next two innings to secure the victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Wesneski tossed a very good game and the offense squeezed out just enough to get the win.
Eye on the Future
- Wesneski is living up to the hype so far with his outstanding slider: 6.1 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 6 K, and 2 BB.
- Hermosillo had two hits that were crucial to both Cubs’ rallies Thursday.
- David Bote had a pair of hits including a double.
- Those other immaculate innings came from Lynn McGlothen (8/25/79); Bruce Sutter (9/8/7777); Milt Pappas (9/24/7171). If feels significant that all but one have come in September.
The Cubs have to be thrilled about the progress of their young starter in his first two turns in the rotation. That’s another big piece to build on for 2023 and beyond.