After a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, the Chicago Cubs sought to salvage their home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers during their ESPN Sunday Night Baseball appearance. The news released before the evening start time boded ill for the Northsiders. Scheduled pitcher Marcus Stroman was replaced by Justin Steele after being placed on the IL. Frank Schwindel‘s 61 OPS+ start to the season earned him a demotion to Triple-A Iowa.
• Stroman placed on IL (no designation)
• Steele starts tonight, Hendricks Mon
• Schwindel optioned to AAA Iowa
• Sampson selected from AAA Iowa
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 8, 2022
Meanwhile, the scheduled Dodgers starter Walker Buehler would seek to make his mark in the MLB history books with a road victory.
Walker Buehler is making his 100th career MLB start tonight (42–13, .734 over his first 99 starts).
With a win, his 43–13 (.768) record would be the 2nd-best in MLB history over a pitcher’s first 100 career starts behind only Whitey Ford (58-17, .773).
LAD at CHC: 7p ET on ESPN pic.twitter.com/ZoAg5OQO6j
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 8, 2022
W: Buehler (4-1, 1.96 ERA)
L: Steele (1-4, 5.32 ERA)
The Cubs struck first on Willson Contreras‘s RBI single in the 1st inning, but Buehler settled in, holding them to one run on four hits over 7.0 IP.
Defensive miscues dogged the Cubs. Gavin Lux started a two-run rally in the 5th inning by reaching first on a ground ball to the right side which pitcher Michael Rucker was unable to track down, scored as a single to Alfonso Rivas. The Dodgers loaded the bases on additional singles by Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. Trea Turner grounded into a double play, scoring Lux. A low pitch to Will Smith by Rucker which Contreras attempted to pick bounced off the catcher’s glove and flew into the air behind home plate, allowing Betts to reach home for the Dodgers’ fourth run of the game.
With two on and one out in the top of the 9th, the Dodgers would score two more runs on a fielding error by Nico Hoerner.
Next up for the Northsiders is a six-game western road trip, beginning with a three-game set against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The series opener will be tonight at 9:40 PM ET. Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 5.64 ERA) will face off against MacKenzie Gore (2-0, 1.71 ERA).