Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/17/24): Cubs 5, D-Backs 3 – Wesneski W Secures Winning Road Trip

The Cubs were hoping to beat the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon to not only win the series but also finish their nine-game West Coast road trip with a winning record. Chicago was able to do just that thanks to a tremendous pitching performance by the newly recalled Hayden Wesneski, who saved the battered bullpen and earned the victory.

Arizona took an early lead in the bottom of the 1st inning when Ketel Marte blasted a leadoff home run against Cub starter Jordan Wicks. The lefty had some traffic on the bases but kept the deficit at 1-0 through four frames.

D-Backs starter Brandon Pfaadt was cruising until an error by third baseman Eugenio Suárez allowed Nico Hoerner to reach base in the 5th. Mike Tauchman cracked a double on the next pitch to plate Hoerner and tie the score. Yan Gomes then hit a go-ahead RBI single to give Chicago a 2-1 advantage.

The normally light-hitting Tucker Barnhart doubled off of Wicks to open up the bottom of the frame. Marte, who else, singled to even the game and the Cubs starter came out one batter later with two on and one out. Wesneski took over and got the next two hitters to escape the jam and dominated after that.

Cody Bellinger picked a good time to come out of his slump with a solo home run in the 6th inning to put the road team ahead 3-2. Bellinger hit a bloop single in the 7th that was misplayed by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., allowing Dansby Swanson to score from second base. Michael Busch then pounded a ground ball right up the middle for another RBI hit that brought Chicago’s lead to 5-2.

Wesneski pitched into the 9th before being replaced by Drew Smyly with one out. Things got a little tense when Joc Pederson greeted Smyly with a solo homer, but the southpaw got the next two batters quickly to secure the 5-3 win. (Box score)

Key Moment

Bellinger’s homer put the Cubs right back ahead after they had given up the tying run the previous inning. It was a nice response after they had squandered a late lead on Tuesday.

Why the Cubs Won

Wesneski came up from Iowa and gave the rest of the exhausted bullpen a much-needed day off. Even better, he was outstanding and got his team a win. The offense also did a good job of making Arizona pay for their errors.

Stats That Matter

  • Wicks was decent on Wednesday but he still is having issues getting deep into games: 4.1 IP, 2 R,5 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
  • Just really can’t say enough about how good Wesneski was: 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2K, and 0 BB.
  • Hopefully Bellinger can go on a hot streak when he returns to Wrigley.
  • Tauchman had some very nice at-bats and picked up a couple of hits.

Bottom Line

After all the ups and downs of that road trip, the Cubs finished up with a 5-4 record. A winning West Coast swing is a very nice accomplishment and is a great sign going forward. Getting a chance to reset the bullpen was also badly needed, so manager Craig Counsell must be thrilled with Wednesday’s results.

On Deck

The Cubs finally return home to historic Wrigley Field to start a four-game set with the Marlins Thursday at 6:40pm CT. Jameson Taillon makes his season debut against big lefty A.J. Puk in a game available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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