Enhanced Box Score: Nationals 2, Cubs 1 – May 3, 2023
Marcus Stroman didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he did his job, allowing just the one earned run over 6.0 IP. He’s now gone at least 6.0 innings with two or fewer earned runs in six of his first seven starts.
Adbert Alzolay gave up a run tonight, but the Cubs bullpen largely did its job too, allowing just one earned run in relief of Stroman.
But the offense? The offense absolutely fell asleep. It was brutal. It was boring. It was painstaking. And worst of all, it’s becoming all too common.
Since the end of the A’s series, the Cubs have scored three runs or fewer in 7 of 14 games, and they’ve lost every single one of them. It is maddening, especially given how many good individual performances there actually have been throughout that stretch (like tonight’s success story, Ian Happ, who reached base four times, raising his OBP to .425 on the year).
But all those fun individual stats sure are starting to lose their bite. This game sucked, plain and simple.
And then there’s the Eric Hosmer of it all. The Cubs DH struck out twice and grounded into a double play tonight, but had a chance to redeem himself in the 9th inning.
Down just one run with nobody out, the Cubs put the first two batters on and then (presumably) David Ross called for Hosmer — HIS FREAKIN’ DESIGNATED HITTER — to lay down a sac bunt.
Hosmer did get the bunt down (BARELY beating out the double play in the process), but it wasn’t enough. After that, Patrick Wisdom grounded into a game-ending double play, himself, and it was over.
I just love giving up free outs with our “DH” in the 9th inning of a one-run game, when each of the first two batters smoked singles over 100 MPH.
Just an incredibly frustrating, terrible loss in a stretch full of them. And now, the absolute best the Cubs could do is a series split against an awful Nationals team. I know it can always get worse, but I am at a relative low point in the Cubs season right now. They could really use a spark and a there are at least two of them playing in Iowa tonight. I’m very fed up.