The Cubs fell behind the Mets early thanks to a Pete Alonso home run for the second consecutive night on Tuesday. This time, however, Chicago was able to respond and rally for a tense one-run victory with the help of an outstanding start and more heroics from Mike Tauchman.
Jameson Taillon made his only major mistake in the bottom of the 1st inning, leaving a fastball over the outside corner that Alonso smoked off the center field wall. It was originally called an RBI double, but video review found that it hit just above the orange line for a two-run homer.
Carlos Carrasco, who has stumped the Cubs but almost no one else this season, pitched well early until he faced Cody Bellinger in the 4th inning. Bellinger clubbed a hanging changeup for a line-drive solo shot to right that cut the lead in half.
The Cubs tied the game the following frame when Yan Gomes ripped a double to left-center to score Christopher Morel from first base. Taillon absolutely rolled after the opening inning, tossing seven strong and retiring the last 16 batters he faced.
Tauchman put the North Siders ahead in the top of the 8th with an impressive opposite-field solo homer to left field off of reliever Drew Smith. Julian Merryweather allowed two singles in the bottom of the frame but retired Jeff McNeil on a groundout to preserve the narrow 3-2 lead.
Confirmed: This is the summer of Mike Tauchman pic.twitter.com/TSkEDpKt8S
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 9, 2023
Alonso represented the winning run with nobody out in the bottom of the 9th inning. He jumped on the first pitch and hit a line shot right at Tauchman in right field. The Cubs were able to end the game on the next hitter.
Why the Cubs Won
Unlike Monday night, they got a quality start and were able to scratch out just enough offense to win it.
Stats That Matter
- This is now five nice starts in a row for Taillon which is just huge: 7 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 7 K, and 0 BB.
- Tauchman also had a single, a walk, and made a terrific running catch on a Francisco Alvarez smash in the 8th inning.
- Gomes had two hits and continues to do an outstanding job behind the plate.
What a difference a starting pitcher can make. Chicago stayed in the game and ultimately won despite another lackluster hitting performance. Being able to get a close win relying on pitching is essential for making a playoff run because you aren’t going to be able to score six or more runs every day.
The Cubs look for a series win Wednesday at 6:10pm CT. Kyle Hendricks takes the bump against left-hander David Peterson in a matchup available on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.