The game between the Cubs and the Twins was delayed for over an hour by rain on Saturday, but Chicago likely wishes the inclement weather had continued. Minnesota pounded their opponents with a deluge of runs that just kept coming.
Cubs starter Hayden Wesneski struggled with lefty power hitters all game Saturday, beginning with a solo home run from DH Alex Kirilloff in the bottom of the 1st. Big slugger Joey Gallo put the game on ice for the Twins with a massive three-run homer in the 3rd, then Kirilloff made it back-to-back with his second dinger of the game.
Five runs were plenty of cushion for Minnesota pitcher Joe Ryan, who shut down Chicago in six innings of work. Wesneski ate two more frames and surrendered a two-run shot to Jorge Polanco in the 5th. The Cubs did score a late run to prevent the shutout but went down to an ugly 11-1 defeat. (Box score)
The Cubs had two men on and nobody out in the top of the 3rd inning with the middle of the lineup coming up. Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ, and Cody Bellinger went down in order and the Twins preserved their one-run lead.
Why the Cubs Lost
Wesneski did not have it on Saturday and the Cubs were buried early in the game. Ryan was sharp and a comeback just wasn’t in the cards.
Stats That Matter
- Wesneski did not have good control and left-handed hitters made him pay badly for it: 5 IP, 7 R, 7 H, 5 K, 4 HR, and 1 BB.
- Tucker Barnhart walked and had two singles, including an RBI knock in the 7th. He was the only Cub with multiple hits Saturday.
- Eric Hosmer and manager David Ross were ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the 8th inning.
That certainly was not a game to save in the scrapbook for the Cubs, but it only counts as one loss and they just have to move on to Sunday. With Kyle Hendricks nearing a return from his shoulder injury, Wesneski may be the odd man out of the rotation. Expectations were unfairly high after his excellent spring training and I don’t think a return to Iowa to improve his control would be the worst thing. His future is still bright he just might need a little more work.