The Cubs returned home to Wrigley Field hoping to keep their good play rolling against the Dodgers Thursday night. It was a battle of the bullpens in a rain-delayed contest and unfortunately, Los Angeles was able to win with one big swing in the final inning.
Javier Assad made a spot start in place of Jameson Taillon, who the Cubs placed on the IL with a groin strain before the game. Max Muncy gave the Dodgers the lead with a solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning. Cody Bellinger responded immediately in the bottom of the frame punishing his old team by cracking a game-tying homer.
James Outman got the advantage right back when he went deep in the 3rd. The Cubs evened the score again in the 4th when Nico Hoerner slashed an RBI single to right. Trey Mancini tried to score the go-ahead run on the single, but was gunned down at the plate by Outman.
Both squads had numerous chances to break the deadlock, though neither could come through and it remained 2-2 in the 9th. Michael Fulmer got into a major jam that inning, giving up two singles and a walk to load the bases. The Dodgers had just who they wanted at the plate in Outman, and the young outfielder promptly blasted the game-winning grand slam to right field. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Thursday night. The bullpen was able to keep them in the game until the 9th but they finally broke.
Stats That Matter
- Assad was decent in an unexpected start: 3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 K, and 2 BB.
- Bellinger was +420 to homer in the game and his homer went 420 feet on 4/20.
- Mancini had a double and a single to snap an 0-for-17 slump at the plate.
- Bellinger also got hit by two pitches for some painful OBP.
- Brandon Hughes was very sharp, striking out four batters in a pair of perfect innings.
This was another game the Cubs could have won, although the last-minute injury to Taillon certainly made it more challenging. Manager David Ross may need to pull Fulmer back from high-leverage spots for a bit until he can get some better results.
Chicago looks to bounce back Friday at 1:20pm CT in a rematch from last Sunday with lefties Drew Smyly and Julio Urías on the hill. As usual, the game airs on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.