Yesterday we looked at five great individual Cubs batting performances from this past season (which happened to come in two games).
Now let’s look at some outstanding individual pitching outings from Cubs hurlers from 2022.
The Cubs had been blown out in the previous two games in this series in Milwaukee, but Stroman shut down a pretty good Milwaukee offense on just two hits.
Stroman struck out five, and here are those five K’s [VIDEO].
The Cubs won the game 2-0.
Leiter found himself in this game after Alec Mills had to depart with an injury after only two pitches. (Mills, incidentally, did not pitch again in 2022 after that injury and his career could be over.)
Leiter threw 5⅓ innings, allowed three hits and a run to a pretty good Red Sox offense, and got the win when the Cubs took the game 3-1.
From that game through the end of the season, Leiter posted a 3.12 ERA and 1.015 WHIP in 25 appearances covering 43⅓ innings, with 13 walks and 47 strikeouts and a .198 opponents BA.
He might have thrown well enough in that game to give him the confidence he needed to finish the year strong. His good second half makes him a candidate for the 2023 bullpen.
It was the first time a Cubs pitcher had thrown that many innings in relief AND posted a win since July 15, 2004, when Glendon Rusch threw 5⅓ relief innings in a win over the Brewers.
That’s one way to make a splash in your first MLB game, especially coming into the game in relief.
Wade Miley, who started this game, had the line of the night:
A smiling Wade Miley as he entered the media room for his postgame interview: “Why do you want to talk to me? Did you see what that kid (Wesneski) just did? I was just the opener.” #Cubs— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 7, 2022
Smyly allowed a two-out double to David Villar (no relation to Jonathan) in the second inning.
That was it — seven one-hit innings with eight strikeouts. Smyly was sent out to start the eighth having thrown 101 pitches. It was one of those “you’re in the game until there’s a baserunner,” and Nico Hoerner made a throwing error on a leadoff ground ball in the eighth. That was it for Smyly, and Manuel Rodriguez eventually allowed that runner to score. No earned runs were charged to Smyly.
An immaculate inning, in which a pitcher strikes out all three hitters he faces on nine pitches (“immaculate” because no fielders are involved other than the pitcher and catcher), had happened only four previous times in Cubs history.
Wesneski did it in his fourth MLB game.
It was the first Cubs immaculate inning in 18 years, and he joined a pretty good group, including a Hall of Famer:
Complete list of known Immaculate Innings by Cubs pitcher:— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 23, 2022
*Hayden Wesneski, today
*LaTroy Hawkins, Sept. 11, 2004
*Lynn McGlothen, Aug. 25, 1979
*Bruce Sutter, Sept. 8, 1977
*Milt Pappas, Sept. 24, 1971
Team records on it scarce from 1889-1914;info via team historian Ed Hartig
The best individual pitching performance by a Cub in 2022 was...
This poll is closed
May 1: Marcus Stroman throws seven shutout innings against the Brewers
July 2: Mark Leiter Jr. throws five-plus outstanding relief innings against the Red Sox
September 6: Hayden Wesneski strikes out eight in five innings in his MLB debut
September 9: Drew Smyly allows the Giants one hit in seven innings
September 22: Hayden Wesneski throws an immaculate inning against the Pirates
A different pitching outing (leave in comments)