It was another tough night for the Cubs at Wrigley Field Wednesday as they dropped their third consecutive game. Chicago’s starter failed to go five innings again as Philadelphia built a big lead early and never looked back.
Drew Smyly did not have anything close to his best stuff, an issue he battled through the last time out, and the Phillies really made him pay for it in the top of the 2nd inning. Edmundo Sosa began the scoring with a two-run homer and then former Cub Nick Castellanos continued his dominance at the Friendly Confines with a three-run jack into the basket in left.
New call-up Jared Young got the Cubs on the board with a long solo home run, the first of his career, to right off Aaron Nola in the 3rd. Philadelphia answered back immediately in the next frame with a Castellanos double and a single from Bryce Harper to put the road team up 7-1 and end Smyly’s night.
First major league homer for Jared Young! 👏 pic.twitter.com/dV9NuLPi7V
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 29, 2023
Dansby Swanson cracked his own home run in the 4th inning to cut the deficit to five, but Josh Harrison responded with a dinger to restore the six-run deficit. The Cubs’ best chance came when they loaded the bases with nobody out in the 5th. Though they scored a pair in the inning, they didn’t do the kind of damage they needed to get back in the game.
Chicago didn’t do much after that until picking up a run in a patented tease rally in the 9th inning and would lose by a score of 8-5. (Box score)
Christopher Morel drew a walk with the bases loaded in the 5th inning to cut the Phillies’ lead to 8-3 with none out. An RBI ground out, force out at home plate, and a pop-up ended the inning with only one more coming home.
Why the Cubs Lost
Another bad starting pitching performance proved costly and they weren’t able to mount a successful comeback.
Stats That Matter
- The past few starts have been kind of shaky for Smyly: 3.2 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
- Nick Madrigal had three hits and he’s really heating up.
- Young has been raking in Triple-A and should probably get a couple more starts.
- Hayden Wesneski was very good in relief Wednesday to save the bullpen: 4.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
The Cubs have looked off since Trey Mancini made that crucial error in London on Sunday. They can’t afford to go into a slump with the Reds and Brewers starting to play better, so they are going to need a good effort in the final game of the series to salvage some momentum.