The Cubs went into Wednesday’s game with a chance to complete a sweep of the Athletics and head home on a high note. The offense roared to life in the late innings for a second consecutive day and they easily dispatched a team that is built to finish last in the AL.
Justin Steele and highly touted prospect Mason Miller both pitched well early and not much happened the first three innings. Ian Happ gave the Cubs a lead with an RBI double in the 4th inning, but Carlos Perez hit his own two-bagger in the bottom of the frame to even the score.
Tucker Barnhart hit a sacrifice fly in the 5th to put Chicago back ahead. Oakland once again immediately responded the next half inning with a Jordan Diaz double that was misplayed by right fielder Patrick Wisdom to allow the tying run to score.
The Cubs broke the game wide open against the Athletics’ terrible bullpen and Wisdom clubbed a two-run triple in the 6th inning as part of a four-run outburst. Eric Hosmer hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot, to make it 7-2 in the 7th.
Oakland had men on first and third with one out in the bottom of the 5th inning and the score tied at two. Steele got Aledmys Díaz to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Why the Cubs Won
They once again punished the horrible A’s bullpen and were able to win easily.
Stats That Matter
- Steele has lived up to the pre-season hype in a big way so far in 2023: 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 5 K, and 2 BB.
- Nico Hoerner had three hits including a double on Wednesday.
- Madrigal put good swings on the ball all day with two hits, although he did get thrown out on the bases again.
- Dansby Swanson drew three walks and scored three runs.
The Cubs took care of business and beat up on a truly awful A’s team. Good squads take advantage of bad ones, and banking these wins now gives them more margin for error when playing really good opponents later in the season. Getting a 5-1 road trip is tremendous, especially when on the West Coast.
Chicago welcomes the Dodgers to Wrigley Field for four games beginning Thursday at 6:40pm CT. Jameson Taillon goes against Michael Grove with a broadcast available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.