Enhanced Box Score: Astros 7, Cubs 6 – May 17, 2023
For every night where this incredible comeback happens and it makes some team and its fans so very happy, there is the other team. The floundering team. The team that just can’t f—ing afford to let another game slip away.
That team is the Cubs. And it doesn’t matter whether they can afford it or not, they let it happen.
With much of the bullpen under the weather, Keegan Thompson was tasked with getting the three-run save, but instead went single, long homer, walk, and was yanked. Brandon Hughes came in and gave up a double, had to walk the bases loaded, got a force out, but then gave up a two-run single for the Astros to walk it off. Comeback complete. Cubs blew a 6-1 lead.
The Cubs’ bats came out of the gate hot, knocking around Astros rookie J.P. France, including Seiya Suzuki taking him deep twice. The Astros bullpen continued to give the Cubs absolute fits again tonight, though, which wound up mattering quite a bit in the final accounting.
Drew Smyly was rock solid tonight, giving the Cubs the kind of start they’ve really needed. I especially liked that, after he was staked to a lead, he just attacked. Didn’t matter in the end, of course, but it was a dang good start.
Mark Leiter Jr. gave up a couple extra-base hits, which was enough to cough up a couple runs, even as he otherwise struck out three in his inning of work. He was due to give up some runs, but you know, it’s not great when every single “due to give up some runs” happens in the same week, and the Cubs lose every single one of those games.