Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 6, Cubs 4 - May 9, 2023

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Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 6, Cubs 4 – May 9, 2023

Chicago Cubs

Sure enough, the Cubs are helping the Cardinals get right. If they go on to claw back from here over the next month, you can bet they’ll point to this series as where they felt they got their feet under them. Thanks to the Cubs.

The story of the night, like it’s been REPEATEDLY over the last two weeks: missed opportunities.

You can dunk on the pitching tonight if you want – I won’t – but the Cubs had plenty, plenty, plenty of chances to put up a huge run total tonight. They failed again and again. Sometimes because baseball happens, and sometimes because of decisions made.

One of the biggest moments of the night came in the bottom of the 5th when a clearly laboring Flaherty loaded the bases with two outs, and Seiya Suzuki came to the plate. Incredibly, Flaherty was permitted to stay in, and it just felt like one of those moments where EVERYONE NEEDED Seiya to do something (including Seiya). Off the bat, it looked like it had a chance. But 347 feet later, the ball made it only as far as the warning track to end the inning. I was, uh, pretty crushed for a minute. That’d be one of those “baseball happens” things.

Suzuki later walked in the 7th to set up another two-out bases-loaded chance, this time for Eric Hosmer. Who struck out. As the 6th hitter in the lineup. As the designated hitter. Taking a critical late-game at bat. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THAT. I’m sure Hosmer is a great guy and a good leader in the clubhouse and all that, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LET YOUR ACTUAL GAMES TURN ON HIS PRESENCE. That’d be one of those “decisions made” things.

Those weren’t the only two spots where the Cubs’ bats failed to come through, but they obviously really stood out. There were also FOUR double-plays, including one by Hosmer in the first inning with the bases loaded.

I’ll have more on Jameson Taillon tomorrow, but the short version is that I didn’t think he was as bad as his final line from the game. He had 9 whiffs on 69 pitches, many of which nasty. A 30% CSW is always goo. There were two not-terrible belt-high pitches on the black that got blasted, and then he had some bad BABIP luck before wearing down at the end. Not good. But not as bad as the line. I’m not worried about him long-term – this is a guy who came off the Injured List early and on a pitch limit, without a rehab start or two. I understand why the Cubs did it, but clearly, he’s still getting himself back to where he was pre-groin injury.

Ultimately, Taillon’s performance put the Cubs in a hole, but Javier Assad’s performance gave them a chance to come back (and no, I didn’t have a huge issue with him coming back out for the 9th in a tie game when he was barely over 50 pitches). The loss is on the bats. Well, and the organizational and coaching decisions that have led to this …

Full Box Score.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.