Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (3/2/24): Dodgers 8, Cubs 5 – Imanaga Debuts in Loss

The Cubs got their first look at new addition Shōta Imanaga as he took the mound Saturday at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers. There was a lot to like from Imanaga but also one costly mistake as Los Angeles went on to win.

Chicago was able to jump ahead in the top of the 2nd inning when Matt Mervis mashed a solo shot to center. Imanaga made his aforementioned mistake in the bottom of the frame which resulted in a three-run homer off the bat of Andy Pages. Otherwise, things went very well for the Japanese lefty with five strikeouts in 2.2 innings.

Mike Tauchman hit a dinger in the 4th to cut the Cubs’ deficit to 3-2. It was another rough outing for Hayden Wesneski, who allowed a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the inning.

Chicago got back within a single run with three in the top of the 7th with a rally that included an RBI single from the red-hot Owen Caissie. It wasn’t enough in the end as Los Angeles added a late two-run homer and secured an 8-5 victory. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Lost

Three big swings of the bat — two home runs and a bases-clearing double — did them in Saturday, though putting too many men on ahead of those knocks didn’t help.

Stats That Matter

  • Imanaga was as advertised: A bunch of strikeouts but susceptible to the longball.
  • Tauchman got on base twice Saturday and may get some more playing time with the hamstring injury to Ian Happ.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. had another good performance and might very well earn a spot in the bullpen to begin the season.

Bottom Line

Imanaga will be key to the Cubs competing for a playoff spot this year and he definitely has the stuff to be a quality starter if he can avoid the home run. Mervis and Tauchman being contributors will really add a lot of strength to the bench in 2024.

On Deck

The Cubs welcome the Guardians to Sloan Park on Sunday afternoon at 2:05pm CT. Kyle Hendricks makes his second start of the spring in a game that airs on Marquee.

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