Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/13/24): Braves 2, Cubs 0 – Offense Happless in Shutout

The Cubs took on the Braves Monday night at Truist Park in a low-scoring affair that featured just two total runs. Unfortunately for Chicago, both of those tallies went to the home team and a couple of late rallies ended up fizzling in a shutout loss.

Shōta Imanaga had to battle against a very talented Braves lineup and gave up 10 baserunners but was able to prevent any of them from scoring. A pair of runners were picked off at first base by the Cubs starter to help him navigate the jams.

Atlanta hurler Reynaldo López also pitched well, keeping the score deadlocked through five. Hayden Wesneski came on in the bottom of the 6th and ran into two-out trouble. Travis d’Arnaud doubled and former Cubs farmhand Zack Short followed with his own two-bagger down the right field line to put his team ahead. Ronald Acuña Jr. then slashed an RBI single to left that made it 2-0.

The Cubs got the first two men on base in the top of the 9th but a double play off the bat of the struggling Ian Happ short-circuited the rally. (Box score)

Key Moment

Christopher Morel had just worked a painful 12-pitch walk that saw him exit the game for a pinch runner after he fouled a ball off his toe. The free pass put two men on base with nobody out for Happ in the 9th. The switch-hitter, batting from the right side against lefty A.J. Minter, swung at the first pitch and rolled a tailor-made double play ball to short for two quick outs. Nico Hoerner then hit the first ball he saw and flew out to left to end the game.

Why the Cubs Lost

The offense just could not get anything going in this one and wasted a terrific pitching performance that held a very good Braves lineup to just two runs.

Stats That Matter

  • This was a tough opponent and Imanaga did a good job fighting to keep them off the scoreboard: 5 IP, 0 R, 7 H, 8 K, and 3 BB.
  • Wesneski did well other than those three consecutive hits and closed out the game: 3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
  • No Chicago hitter reached base more than once on Monday.

Bottom Line

The Cubs offense continues to struggle and Happ is a big part of that. His OPS currently sits at .634 and it’s getting to be less of a small sample size situation at this point. It’s not fair to single out one player like that but it was particularly glaring in Monday’s game. At the moment, Mike Tauchman and Patrick Wisdom are probably better options in the lineup. Also, it would be very helpful if Morel’s toe was just bruised because more injuries would be incredibly annoying at the very least.

On Deck

The second game of the series is Tuesday at 6:20pm CT. Jameson Taillon is back after some additional rest against Chris Sale in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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