Game Recap: Stroman leads the way in series win over Mets
|Thursday, May 25, 2023, 7:36 AM- -|
CHICAGO - It has been a long time since the Chicago Cubs (22-25) won a series as you have to go back to their series against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field earlier this month. Well, that is no longer the case as the Cubs took down the New York Mets (25-25) 4-2 on Wednesday in front of the home crowd to pick up their first series win in a while.
It was another episode of the Stroshow on Wednesday as Marcus Stroman brought his MLB-leading eight quality starts to the mound to face off against his former team. As if facing your former team wasn't added motivation, why not go up against a guy in Kodei Senga whom the Cubs tried to land in free agency this offseason?
Regarding Stroman, the right-hander was dialed in from the start as he controlled the game from start to finish. Despite only striking out three hitters, Stroman needed fewer than 90 pitches to get through eight innings as he gave the Cubs eight innings of two-run ball before Mark Leiter Jr closed things down in the ninth. His effort on the mound was more than enough for the Cubs as Senga struggled with his command across the board.
Despite having a lot of success to start his MLB career, Senga tends to get a little wild, so the Cubs knew they would have to capitalize on the chances given to them. With Seiya Suzuki leading off the second with a walk ahead of the Mike Tauchman single, this was the first of many opportunities for the Cubs. Still, they were unable to do anything with that opportunity.
It was in the third when the game's first run came into the score as the Mets grabbed the early lead. A one-out single from Mark Chana got things started, but it was the two-run shot by Francisco Alvarez that put the Mets in front 2-0 as they had the early lead. Little did anyone know, but those would be the only runs Stroman would allow in the game as he lowered his ERA to 2.95 with the strong outing.
The best way to get to Senga is by making him work, and the Cubs did as patience and some clutch hitting led to a massive inning that saw the Cubs grab the lead for good. Nico Hoerner started things off with a walk only to around to score on a Dansby Swanson double to make things 2-1. Two batters later saw the red-hot Suzuki cash in with another huge RBI hit as his double brought things back to even 2-2.
Tuesday was a game of unlikely heroes for the Cubs, and you could argue that their biggest hit on Wednesday came from an unlikely hero. Recently called up for the injured Cody Bellinger, Mike Tauchman has stepped in and filled in admirably. Today, it was Talchman's turn to deliver a massive hit for the Cubs as his RBI single not only put the Cubs in front 3-2, but it was a lead they would never let go of.
The struggles of Senga continued across the next few innings, where the Cubs put four runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings and have nothing to show for it. In the bottom half of the sixth, the game's final run came into the score as Hoerner took Drew Smith deep for a solo shot and put the Cubs in front 4-2.
Nico Hoerner - Chicago Cubs (3)— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 25, 2023
For Hoerner, that was his first homer since returning from the IL as he looks to get back on track after a relatively sluggish last few days.
Not only were the Cubs in front, but Stroman was mowing through the Mets lineup and continued to keep them off the board through seven. Once the eighth inning started, you got a sense that Stroman was tiring as he walked Starlin Marte and Canna, only to have an inning-ending double play end the frame with the Cubs still sitting on top 4-2.
After a scoreless eight of their own, David Ross went with the lefty specialist Leiter Jr for the save opportunity, and Leiter didn't disappoint as he needed 15 pitches to retire the Mets in order and locked down his second save of the season for what was a Cubs 4-2 win. The Cubs had eight hits in the game, with Tauchman and Ian Happ leading the way with two. The Cubs will aim for the series sweep on Thursday as Kyle Hendricks will take the ball for the first time in 2023 and will oppose Carlos Carrasco.
2-0 to start the homestand!— Corey Freedman (@corey_cubs) May 25, 2023
FLY THE W. LIGHT THE W. HIT MY MUSIC. pic.twitter.com/YLg5Jc145F