The Cubs began the 2023 MLB season against the Brewers at a chilly and overcast Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon. Chicago got a tremendous starting pitching performance and one big inning to open the year on a winning note.
Dansby Swanson put the Cubs ahead with an RBI single off Corbin Burnes with runners on the corners in the 3rd inning. Shortstop Willy Adames tried to throw the ball behind Swanson at first, but it got away and Nico Hoerner was able to score a second run. Trey Mancini followed with his own hit to bring home the former Brave, and a mental mistake by Adames on a Yan Gomes ground ball gave Chicago a 4-0 lead.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 30, 2023
That was more than enough for Marcus Stroman, who completely shut down Milwaukee through six innings. Keegan Thompson, Brad Boxberger, and Michael Fulmer each tossed a clean inning to preserve the shutout victory. (Box score)
The Brewers had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the 3rd inning, but Stroman coaxed a double play grounder to second off the bat of Rowdy Tellez to escape the jam.
Why the Cubs Won
They put up a shutout and also took advantage of Milwaukee’s mistakes in the 3rd inning.
Stats That Matter
- Really great stuff from Stroman, who got a ton of whiffs on his sinker: 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 8 K, and 3 BB.
- Swanson had three hits in a tremendous Cubs debut.
- Thompson had his fastball velocity up to 95 mph Thursday, a noticeable increase from spring training.
- Ian Happ singled and drew two walks.
Quality pitching and manufactured runs are going to be the Cubs’ formula for success in 2023. If they put together more performances like Thursday, they could really be on to something.
Game two of the season is at Wrigley Saturday at 1:20pm CT. Justin Steele goes for the series win against Brandon Woodruff with coverage on Marquee and 670 The Score.