Things were not looking good for the Cubs at Wrigley on Tuesday night, as they trailed in the middle innings to the Nationals for a second consecutive game. Just as the frustration was reaching its peak, Chicago absolutely exploded and decimated Washington’s bullpen to roll to their biggest win of the season.
Jameson Taillon struggled in the first couple of innings, falling behind 3-0 on a Lane Thomas solo home run and a two-run single from Corey Dickerson. The Cubs starter settled down after that and kept the Nats off the scoreboard the rest of his outing.
Yan Gomes hit a sacrifice fly off of Patrick Corbin to get Chicago on the board in the 4th inning. Seiya Suzuki woke up the offense when he crushed a much-needed solo home run onto Waveland in the 6th, then Ian Happ was able to score on a throwing error later in the frame to tie the game at three.
Trust yourself, trust your power. 💪 pic.twitter.com/7C2gMBN8Ub
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 19, 2023
Patrick Wisdom, who has been rejuvenated since growing a mustache, demolished a go-ahead home run against Amos Willingham to open the 7th inning. The North Siders would go on to score five more runs in the frame, with the big blows coming on a two-run Happ double and a two-RBI single from Miguel Amaya.
The Cubs must have been celebrating Christmas in July at the Friendly Confines Tuesday because they built a snowman in the 8th inning. The home team scored eight runs on eight hits to amass a 17-3 lead and completely swamp Washington in a total romp. (Box score)
The Cubs appeared to be sleepwalking through another game before Suzuki connected on his dinger. They would go on to score 15 runs after the prodigious shot.
Why the Cubs Won
Taillon kept the game close and they finally were able to make some hay with the incredibly vulnerable Nationals bullpen.
Stats That Matter
- Taillon wasn’t spectacular but was more than good enough for his team Tuesday: 5.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
- Suzuki really needed this four-hit performance and he may be heating back up.
- The other two struggling hitters atop the Cubs order, Happ and Nico Hoerner, combined for five knocks.
- Last minute addition Miles Mastrobuoni, in after Christopher Morel was scratched from the lineup with a stiff neck, went 3-4 as part of the onslaught.
- The Cubs had 12 two-strike hits and went 12-for-19 with RISP.
That certainly was a lot more fun than Monday night’s game and it demonstrates what Chicago is capable of when the hitters are on. The problem is they need to be consistent; if they aren’t able to win Wednesday, this game will just be a one-off and the Cubs will continue to go nowhere. Happ, Hoerner, and Suzuki getting hot would make things interesting.