Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 3, Mariners 2 – April 10, 2023
WALK OFF WINNER!!!
Nico Hoerner drove in Nick Madrigal to send the Cubs home happy in the 10th inning. Shout out to Madrigal for coming in to pinch run and stealing third base when the pitcher was asleep. If he doesn’t do that, who knows how the rest of the inning plays out.
Great moment. That’s the upside of losing the lead in the top of the 9th. You get to have a little walk off. As a treat.
Michael Fulmer couldn’t get the save thanks to a nooooo doubt homer from Jarred Kelenic on a belt-high cutter that came right into his wheelhouse:
Terrible pitch. Won’t hang Fulmer because of one bad pitch, but that’s your reminder of how precarious a one-run lead always is. Thankfully, Keegan Thompson shook off a couple close-call walks in the 10th to gut his way through a scoreless frame and set up the walk-off.
Great night from Drew Smyly to open things up. Only hiccup came because of another dang blooper to right field. Smyly was cruising through 3.1 innings, looking as good as a pitcher can look. And then a blooper to right field fell in for a double – I am getting so sick of these bloopers to right field! – and Smyly followed it up with a walk (super close call), a single, and a sac fly to score the bloop-doer. Boo. Otherwise, Smyly was outstanding tonight.
Thankfully, the Cubs got two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to take the lead:
Although the Cubs did get those two runs in the 4th off of Luis Castillo, it could’ve been a lot more. After starting the inning walk, double, single, single, Patrick Wisdom struck out with two on base, and Yan Gomes hit a rocket into a double-play.
The Cubs didn’t exactly have a TON of perfect scoring opportunities against Castillo, but a few times they got thwarted on near scores. They got two-out base hits in the second and third inning, and each was followed by a well-struck ball … but Patrick Wisdom’s bat exploded in the 2nd to prevent the otherwise perfect shot from traveling more than 311 flyout feet, and Dansby Swanson’s shot to the wall in right center was caught by a leaping Teoscar Hernández. In the 5th, Nico Hoerner singled and stole second base, and Ian Happ eventually followed with a line drive to left field that just didn’t have quite enough tail to get away from the left fielder. A lot of almost runs in those few innings. It felt like they did better against Castillo than just two runs.
Again, thankfully none of that mattered in the final accounting, but Cubs probably could’ve/should’ve had more than two runs by the time the 9th rolled around.
Yes, I’m going to comment on it: the home plate umpire SUCKED in this one. I haven’t said a think about the strike zone yet this year because I had yet to see a game where it really stood out. Tonight, it did. Inconsistent, game-changing mistakes, seemingly all going against the Cubs.
Glad it didn’t cost them the game. Just a little extra drama.