The Cubs headed into their series against the Angels looking to get back over .500 on their West Coast trip after splitting four with the Padres. Things looked very good early as Chicago jumped out to a big lead, but then a meltdown in the middle innings doomed the road team to defeat.
The offense exploded for four runs in the top of the 2nd inning against veteran Tyler Anderson. Mike Tauchman hit a two-run single to begin the scoring and then Matt Mervis broke out of his slump with a rocket double to right that brought home another pair to make the advantage 4-0.
Hayden Wesneski was sharp early, allowing only a solo home run to Shohei Ohtani in the first four innings. Then the wheels completely fell off in the bottom of the 5th as the Angels plated five runs. A double and a hit by pitch put two on with one out for Luis Rengifo, who hit a ground ball Mervis misplayed to allow everyone to reach safely.
Wesneski gave up a run on a wild pitch before striking out Taylor Ward for the second out. David Ross put in Brandon Hughes to face Ohtani and the left-hander promptly imploded. A walk loaded the bases and Mike Trout tied the game with a single up the middle. Another walk was followed by the go-ahead hit by Matt Thaiss that deflected off the glove of Dansby Swanson and the Angels led 6-4.
The Cubs were unable to score after the 2nd inning despite a couple of late tease rallies and the home team went on to win 7-4. (Box score)
The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the 7th inning down by two runs. Yan Gomes smoked a line drive directly at shortstop Zach Neto, who was able to double up the runner at second to end the frame.
Why the Cubs Lost
The bullpen collapsed again and shoddy defense exacerbated the issues in a major way.
Stats That Matter
- Wesneski deserved a much better fate than he got on Tuesday: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
- Ian Happ reached base three times, drawing two more walks.
- Nico Hoerner had two singles.
The Cubs needed their defense to be elite this season if they wanted to contend. That was not the case at all on Tuesday and it cost them the game. The theme this year appears to be that Chicago always finds a way to lose, and it very much feels like it’s going to be another long summer in Wrigleyville.