Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, A’s 0 – April 18, 2023
Whew! And you thought they weren’t going to score any runs….
This game ultimately came down to the bullpens, because both starting pitchers were absolutely dominant tonight. Marcus Stroman turned in his fourth consecutive quality start to begin the 2023 season. And he’s now leading the NL with a 0.75 ERA.
Meanwhile, it was hard not to be impressed by Ken Waldichuk, who wiggled out of some trouble in the first and then cruised for 5.0 total innings. His changeup was particularly devastating on the Cubs hitters, who whiffed 9 times on 16 offerings.
We’ll dive into Marcus Stroman’s start tomorrow, but it was just a vintage performance from the Cubs Ace, especially the seven groundouts. They just couldn’t do anything with him. What a tear he’s been on, really dating back to the middle of last season.
Anyway, like I said, this game was positively boring until the 8th inning, when the Cubs bats FINALLY broke through. Seiya Suzuki kicked off the action by reaching base for the fourth time (he reached a fifth time later in the game), Patrick Wisdom had another extra base hit, and then Cody Bellinger was the one to break the seal. But the Cubs didn’t let off the gas at one. Yan Gomes grabbed another RBI, and Nick Madrigal drove in a run with a base hit and later scored on a goofy error by the right fielder. I guess that’s going around tonight ….
In the bottom of the 8th, the Cubs defense showed up big time, with Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson each bailing Michael Fulmer out with big plays.
Another day, another win. This Cubs team is fun.