Through Friday, the Cubs had won five consecutive games at Target Field.
They likely wish they could have caught a flight out of town right then, after a pair of blowout losses, Sunday’s by the score of 16-3.
BCB’s JohnW53 provides this sad news:
This is the first time that the Cubs have surrendered double-digit runs on back-to-back days on the road since consecutive 11-5 losses at Colorado on August 9-10, 2009. They had never done it before at any American League park.
It’s simple, really: Marcus Stroman just didn’t have it. He put together his worst start of 2023, serving up six earned runs and not making it out of the third inning. Really, everyone could have left the ballpark right then, because the Cubs weren’t coming back from this one.
There are, however, a couple of Cubs highlights I can show you from this game.
Christopher Morel hit a monster home run when the Cubs were down 8-0, the longest by any Cub so far this year [VIDEO].
A few more details:
⚾Christopher Morel! HR (3)— Home Run Report (@homerunreport) May 14, 2023
Go, Cubs, go!
5/14/23 @ MIN, ⬆️ 4th
vs RHP Louie Varland
113.6 MPH / 26° / 461 ft to LF
Off a 93.9 MPH four-seam fb
▶️It's a home run in 30/30 parks.◀️
See this play in Gameday: https://t.co/M5Tsnb8m0o pic.twitter.com/2lDHepOZu4
The Cubs got long ball in the seventh, this solo shot by Seiya Suzuki, his second [VIDEO].
Quite the contrast with Morel’s, that was a line drive almost 100 feet shorter [VIDEO].
But, they count just the same. Suzuki started to hit a bit recently, over his last four games: 5-for-14 (.357) with three doubles and the home run. This is a good sign, I think, here’s hoping it continues.
Trey Mancini followed that with a single and Matt Mervis walked. Me? I’d have sent Cody Bellinger up to bat for Nick Madrigal, maybe Bellinger goes deep and it’s 8-5.
So it’s 8-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh. The Twins scored a run off Julian Merryweather in that inning, and then battered Michael Fulmer around enough in the ninth that the game got to an eight-run deficit (11-3), so David Ross can then by rule call on a position player to pitch. Miles Mastrobuoni became the first position player to pitch for the Cubs this year, and he pitched like most position players do, lobbing up 75 mile per hour batting-practice type pitches. The Twins duly took that BP off Mastrobuoni, with four hits including a home run. At that point it’s silly season, so you just have to laugh.
Again, this counts as only one loss. All the last two days did, besides put two in the “L” column, is rack down the Cubs’ run differential from +52 to +29.
Give the Twins credit, they’re a pretty good team and they clearly scouted the Cubs pitching staff very well. That’s about all I’ve got on this one.
Hopefully, this team can turn things around in Houston, where they will begin a three-game series against the Astros Monday evening. Speaking of “turning things around,” Jameson Taillon will try to do that to his 2023 season when he starts Monday’s game. Framber Valdez will go for Houston. Game time Monday is 7:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.