The Cubs were trying to build on their series opening win Tuesday night against the Nationals, but more wasted scoring opportunities and a bullpen meltdown led to another Chicago loss on this road trip. Both starting pitchers, Hayden Wesneski and Trevor Williams, pitched well early and only one run was scored in the first six innings.
Washington took the lead in the bottom of the 3rd with the help of an Eric Hosmer error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Patrick Wisdom tied the game with a long solo home run to center against Mason Thompson in the 7th, the Cubs had their own Thompson issues in the bottom of the frame. Keegan Thompson did not have it and got hit hard as the Nats scored three runs, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by Alex Call.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 3, 2023
Chicago got the tying run to bat in the 8th inning but again came up empty and the home team took home the 4-1 victory. (Box score)
The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the 6th trailing by a run with Carl Edwards Jr. on the mound. David Ross pinch-hit Trey Mancini for Edwin Ríos, but Mancini struck out and Hosmer weakly popped up to short to strand the runners.
Why the Cubs Lost
This was another game in which they failed to come through with chances to score. Thompson has struggled out of the bullpen of late, which is becoming a problem because the Cubs need him to be good.
Stats That Matter
- Wesneski got pretty good results despite some hard contact: 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 K, and 0 BB. Since the Hosmer error didn’t affect the runner advancing to second on the bunt, the run was earned.
- Cody Bellinger had two more hits, including a ringing double.
How much longer can players like Ríos and Hosmer keep getting high-leverage at-bats if Chicago really wants to contend this season? There are numerous better options on the roster and in Iowa. This is the rare situation where bringing up young talent not only gives them a chance to get their feet wet at the MLB level, but it actually helps improve the team on the field. It’s a move that is overdue at this point.
The Cubs look to respond Wednesday at 6:05pm CT. Marcus Stroman goes for Chicago and Washington has yet to name a starter for a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.