Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/23/24): Mets 5, Cubs 2 – Cubs Lose on Sandberg Day

The most exciting action involving the Cubs on Sunday occurred three hours before their game against the Mets when Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was honored with a statue in front of Wrigley Field. The North Siders didn’t seem to take much inspiration from the pre-game festivities, putting up a decidedly flat performance as they went on to drop yet another series.

New York was constantly applying pressure to Javier Assad from the 1st inning forward on Sunday. The Metropolitans finally broke through with back-to-back home runs from Francisco Lindor (two-run) and Brandon Nimmo (solo) to go ahead 3-0 in the 3rd.

For the second time in 2024, Luis Severino completely dominated the Cubs over six shutout frames, leaving with a 4-0 lead. Christopher Morel provided the only offensive highlight for Chicago with a two-run blast to center off of reliever Dedniel Núñez that cut the margin to 4-2 in the 7th.

Mark Vientos got one of those runs right back with a tape-measure homer that went 451 feet to center against Tyson Miller in the 8th. There was a bit of 9th-inning drama when Mets closer Edwin Díaz was ejected before he even threw a pitch due to a foreign substance on his hand. The incident did nothing to affect the outcome, however, as the Cubs went quietly in the frame and lost by a score of 5-2. (Box score)

Key Moment

Craig Counsell‘s squad isn’t built to come from behind, especially against a pitcher as tough as Severino. That put them in big trouble when they fell behind 3-0 in the 3rd inning and they never really got back into the game.

Why the Cubs Lost

Outside of one swing of the bat, the hitters did almost nothing Sunday. That wasn’t enough for a starting pitcher who was fighting it most of the night.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad really battled in this one and it probably should have been a lot uglier than the final stat line showed with all the runners on base and hard-hit balls: 4.1 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
  • Morel has homers on two consecutive days and actually made a couple of nice defensive plays if you were looking for a bright spot in this one.

Bottom Line

With those two home runs, Sandberg might have sparked the Cubs for a run at the National League East…what? I have to write about the 2024 team? Fine, Chicago just really feels uninspired at the moment and it’s hard to say if it’s a motivation issue or if it’s just not a very good team. If a turnaround is close there’s certainly not much evidence of it.

On Deck

The Cubs now head west for four games against the Giants at Oracle Park starting Monday at 8:45pm CT. Justin Steele faces yet to be named San Francisco starter in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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