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Angels 6, Cubs 2: Déjà vu

We have definitely seen this before, and we didn’t like the ending.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The summary of The Typical 2023 Chicago Cubs Game:

  • The Cubs run out to an early lead with some timely hitting.
  • The Cubs starting pitcher throws pretty well into the fifth or even sixth inning.
  • There are opposing runners on base when David Ross comes out to replace said starting pitcher.
  • The relief pitcher immediately gives up hits resulting in runs, which not only gives the opponent the lead, but makes the starter’s outing look worse than it really was.
  • The Cubs go down meekly the rest of the game.

I mean, I’m not wrong. This has been exactly what happened in both of the games in the current series in Anaheim, including Wednesday night’s depressing 6-2 loss to the Angels.

I could stop there, but you come here for a game recap and by gum, I am going to give you one.

First, a little bit of defense. Nico Hoerner caught this line drive and doubled an Angels runner off first in the second inning [VIDEO].

In the top of the fourth, Mike Trout did what Mike Trout does — he stole a home run from Ian Happ [VIDEO].

The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a long home run by Trout off Jameson Taillon. No shame there, Trout has homered off a lot of good pitchers.

The Cubs took the lead back in the top of the fifth. Mike Tauchman led off with a single and was wild-pitched to second. He scored on this double by Trey Mancini [VIDEO].

Mancini then scored to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead on this single by Miguel Amaya [VIDEO].

The Cubs might have scored more, but Miles Mastrobuoni hit into a double play to end the inning. Seriously, I am certain that Mastrobuoni would have long ago been replaced on this roster if he didn’t hit lefthanded. He is not a major league hitter. Please, Jed — take him off the roster so Ross doesn’t keep starting him.

The Cubs’ lead lasted about five minutes. Luis Rengifo homered off Taillon in the bottom of the fifth. Still, Taillon’s outing through five wasn’t bad — the two solo homers were the only runs.

The sixth was a disaster as described above. Taillon got one out in the sixth, then a walk and single brought Ross out to bring in Mark Leiter Jr., who has generally been reliable this year.

Not on this night. Leiter did strike out Jared Walsh, but then gave up a run-scoring hit, a stolen base, a walk and then a bases-clearing double that made it 6-2 and essentially ended the game, even with three innings to go. Remember I said “the Cubs go down meekly” above? Yup. The last nine Cubs went down in order, four by strikeout.

I continue to believe this team has more talent than this, but they are certainly not showing it on the field. They had just three hits, all of them in the two-run fifth. They had just two other baserunners, both on walks. That forces the pitching to be nearly perfect, and... it hasn’t been.

That’s all I’ve got, really. The loss dropped the Cubs to a season-low nine games under .500. They will try to salvage one game of this three-game set Thursday evening in Anaheim. Drew Smyly will start for the Cubs and Reid Detmers will go for the Angels. Game time is again 8:38 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and MLB Network outside the Cubs and Angels market territories).