The Cubs returned home from London to a smoky Wrigley Field on Tuesday to begin a series with the Phillies. Chicago was shut down by a quality starting pitching performance and Philadelphia got a power surge from an unexpected source to take the victory.
Jameson Taillon allowed a double to Kyle Schwarber on the very first pitch of the game, the. the former Cub would come in to score on a single from Trea Turner to give the road team a 1-0 lead. Outfielder Brandon Marsh doubled the Phillies’ advantage with a solo home run in the top of the 2nd.
Philadelphia starter Ranger Suárez was very sharp on Tuesday and gave up almost nothing over his first seven innings of work. The same could not be said of Taillon, who gave up three more runs in the 5th, including another homer from Marsh. This one was a two-run shot that gave the Phils more than enough cushion.
Suárez finally came out of the game in the 8th and Nico Hoerner collected an RBI single in that frame, but the Cubs never really threatened to come back. Craig Kimbrel came on in a non-save situation to finish off the 5-1 win. (Box score)
The Cubs did not sufficiently fear the beard as the two homers from Marsh put the game out of reach with the hitters struggling so much against Suárez.
Why the Cubs Lost
They certainly played Tuesday like they were suffering from jet lag with a decided lack of energy. Of course, that may well have been a result of a quality performance by the opposition.
Stats That Matter
- As has often been the case in his first season in Chicago, Taillon showed flashes of his ability but paid dearly for every mistake he made, especially to left-handed hitters: 5 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 8 K, and 1 BB.
- Cody Bellinger had a single, a double, and, most importantly, played good defense at first base.
- Nick Madrigal had a pair of hits and looks improved after returning from Iowa.
Taillon has been a massive disappointment so far in 2023 and is really the only trouble spot in what has been a very solid rotation for the Cubs. With two straight losses, Chicago needs to pick up a win Wednesday to avoid a skid. This is a very winnable division as long as the North Siders can avoid any major losing streaks.