It was more of the same for the Cubs Wednesday night in Anaheim with a third consecutive loss on the West Coast road trip. The hitters did very little and the bullpen again threw gasoline on the fire in the middle innings to give the game away.
Starting pitchers Jameson Taillon and Jaime Barria were effective early and neither side scored through the first three innings. Then Mike Trout made his presence known in the 4th, robbing Ian Happ of a home run in the top of the frame and launching his own solo dinger in the bottom half.
Chicago briefly took a lead in the top of the 5th when Trey Mancini doubled in a run and Miguel Amaya singled to score him with the go-ahead tally. Luis Rengifo immediately tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame.
Taillon pitched into the 6th inning before coming out with two on and one out. Mark Leiter Jr. took over and Los Angeles pounced on him, first with an RBI single from Rengifo and then a bases-clearing double from Mickey Moniak to give the Angels an insurmountable 6-2 advantage.
Chicago went very quietly from there and would drop the game by that same 6-2 score. (Box score)
Angels relief pitcher Ben Joyce walked the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the 6th inning. Mancini grounded out weakly to second base to end the threat and the game remained tied at two.
Why the Cubs Lost
It feels like the same story every time over the last six weeks, they could not generate enough offense and the bullpen gave up a crooked number in the middle innings.
Stats That Matter
- Taillon was solid for a second consecutive start but the ‘pen let him down: 5.1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 5 K, and 4 BB.
- Happ was the only Cubs hitter to reach base twice with a pair of walks.
The North Siders have significant flaws in multiple areas of their roster. It just seems like the bullpen and the lineup are not going to get better any time this season and the offseason hope of an improvement from 2022 has mostly ebbed away. There is still a lot of time for things to change, it’s just difficult to have any optimism after the last month plus of baseball.
The Cubs try to stop the bleeding and avoid a sweep Thursday at 8:38pm CT. Drew Smyly matches up against fellow Southpaw Reid Detmers in a contest broadcast on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.