Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/12/24): Mariners 4, Cubs 2 – Wicks Wild in Loss

The Cubs opened up their series in Seattle on Friday night aiming to shake off a disappointing performance against the Padres. That did not happen in this game, however, as the Mariners went ahead early and kept Chicago’s bats quiet for most of the evening as they went on to win.

Jordan Wicks got the start and battled command issues throughout his performance. Seattle loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with nobody out in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Wicks almost escaped the jam but then hit Luis Urías with two outs to force in the first run of the night.

The Cubs left-hander prevented further damage in that inning but more wildness followed in the 4th as he walked the bases loaded with two outs. Julio Rodríguez made him pay with a two-run single and Ty France drove in another tally with his own hit to give the Mariners a 4-0 advantage.

The North Siders could get nothing going against M’s hurler Bryce Miller, who kept them off the board into the 7th inning. They finally broke the shutout in that frame when Yan Gomes hit a routine ground ball to third but France playing first base somehow missed the throw over and Nico Hoerner was able to score from second.

Michael Busch hit a long solo home run off of Mariners closer Ryne Stanek in the 9th to cut the deficit to 4-2. That was as close as the Cubs would get as Stanek recorded the final two outs to secure the save. (Box score)

Key Moment

Wicks walked J.P. Crawford with two on and two out in the 4th, allowing Rodríguez to come to the plate. Perhaps Crawford would have gotten a hit had Wicks presented a better challenge, but the odds of him doing damage putting the ball in play are much lower than Seattle’s best hitter.

Why the Cubs Lost

They had a mostly stagnant offense for a second consecutive game and their starting pitcher gave up too many free baserunners.

Stats That Matter

  • Wicks had good stuff on Friday picking up 16 whiffs but he needs to be more aggressive in the zone to keep his pitch count down and avoid walks: 4 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 6 K, and 4 BB.
  • Busch is the only Cubs hitter doing anything on the trip, he had a double in addition to his home run.
  • Keegan Thompson threw two scoreless innings of relief after coming up from Iowa and in an encouraging sign had his velocity back up to 94 mph after it dropped in 2023.

Bottom Line

The Cubs are struggling at the start of this road trip. The lineup has cooled off after a red-hot start and the pitching staff, which is the weaker part of the team, is dealing with several key injuries. Hopefully, it’s not something that lasts too long but the rest of this trip probably is going to be a real battle.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Saturday night at 8:40pm CT. Shōta Imanaga makes his third start against Emerson Hancock in a contest available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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