Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/23/24): Braves 3, Cubs 0 – Offensive Slumber Continues in Shutout Loss

The Cubs’ offensive issues showed no signs of stopping on Thursday afternoon as the Braves shut them out to win the series at Wrigley Field. A good start from Ben Brown went for naught as Atlanta won easily 3-0.

Both Brown and young Braves starter AJ Smith-Shawver were very sharp early and neither squad scored through four innings. Hayden Wesneski took over in the 5th and surrendered a solo home run to Jarred Kelenic which gave the road team a 1-0 lead.

That turned out to be all the offense Atlanta would need in this game as the Cubs could get almost nothing going. Kyle Hendricks made his first relief appearance in the 8th inning and it did not go any better than his starts. Ozzie Albies had an RBI single and Marcell Ozuna hit a very deep sacrifice fly to left that was a foot away from being a home run.

Chicago went very quickly in the final two frames and the Bravos finished the shutout victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

Second baseman Albies lost Seiya Suzuki‘s pop-up in the sun in the 3rd inning, allowing it to drop in the infield for a base hit to put men on first and third with two outs. Cody Bellinger stepped to the plate and flew out to right to end the threat.

Why the Cubs Lost

The offensive struggles seem to be getting worse and the lineup didn’t give the team a chance to win.

Stats That Matter

  • Brown did a great job but he wasn’t stretched out to go deep in the game because he’s been pitching out of the bullpen: 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 6 K, and 2 BB.
  • Ian Happ had a double and a walk on Thursday.
  • The Cubs have not hit a home run since Friday, a dought of five games.

Bottom Line

Chicago’s offense is completely broken right now and it’s starting to drag down their overall record. The bats are going to have to wake up very soon or this might turn into a downward spiral in the standings. The lineup is fully healthy, so the injury excuse isn’t available. The coming road trip against St. Louis and Milwaukee is going to be crucial, so the Cubs need to play better or things might get pretty messy.

On Deck

The seven-game Central swing begins Friday night at Busch Stadium against the surging Cardinals at 7:15pm CT. Shōta Imanaga takes the mound against Miles Mikolas in a contest broadcast on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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