The Cubs were hoping to win the series against the Nationals on a beautiful night at Wrigley on Tuesday. Chicago battled back late to take a lead but they could not hold the advantage and fell by one run.
Keibert Ruiz put the Nationals on the board with a solo home run off of Marcus Stroman in the 2nd inning. Seiya Suzuki got that run back in the bottom of the frame with his own solo shot to left field.
Ruiz victimized Stroman again in the 4th inning, this time with a much more damaging three-run homer. The 4-1 lead held up until the Cubs finally got to Washington’s bullpen in the 7th. They were able to rally for four runs thanks to a barrage of singles. Rafael Ortega, Willson Contreras, Franmil Reyes, and Nico Hoerner all had RBIs during the rally.
The advantage was short-lived as Joey Meneses took Mark Leiter Jr. deep for a two-run homer in the top of the 8th to put the Nationals ahead 6-5. Old friend Carl Edwards Jr. came on to get the save and pitched around a couple of baserunners to do it. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Two Cubs runners were thrown out on the bases including Rafael Ortega who was thrown out at the plate on an attempted sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. That turned out to be the winning margin for Washington.
Eye on the Future
- Zach McKinstry had three hits on Tuesday as he finally got his first hit as a Cub.
- Suzuki had three hits as well and was putting good swings on the ball all game.
- Hoerner had a couple of hits as he stays hot.
Stats That Matter
- Stroman was not bad but he got lit up by Ruiz: 5 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 6 K, and 2 BB.
- Ian Happ had a couple of hits as well on Tuesday.
This battle between two bad teams created a pretty competitive contest. Suzuki is still a rookie despite his big contract so it is nice to see him starting to feel more comfortable. Hopefully, he finishes strong to build momentum for 2023.