Chicago Cubs Rookie Explodes with Big 1st Career Hit

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs completed a sweep of the Houston Astros Thursday afternoon. The final game of the series goes down as a 3-1 comeback victory. The comeback was sparked by top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong getting his first career hit, a go-ahead 2-run home run that became the difference in the game.

Rookie Wins Game with a Rocket

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Pete Crow-Armstrong played with the Cubs last year but had limited playing time or at-bats. After starting the season at AAA Iowa, he got the call to the major leagues with the injury to Cody Bellinger that placed him on the IL. PCA is making the most of his opportunity, launching a 2-run home run today in the sixth inning off of Bryan Abreu.

Miguel Amaya drove in the first of three runs in the sixth inning with a fly ball into right field that Kyle Tucker was unable to secure, allowing Dansby Swanson to come in and score from third. Nick Madrigal was thrown out at second base after Tucker gathered the ball, but Crow-Armstrong came up to the plate next and gave the Cubs the lead.

Assad and Company Hold Houston Down

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Javier Assad had another great outing to add to his great start to the season. After allowing a sac fly RBI in the first inning, Assad shut down the two-time World Series champions. He finished with 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, and 5 K on 85 pitches, lowering his season ERA to a sparkling 2.00. Were it not for the stellar start by rookie Shota Imanaga, Assad would be the belle of the ball in the Cubs’ starting rotation that has otherwise been bereft of quality outings.

The bullpen put up 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Assad and held down the 3-1 lead after Crow-Armstrong’s home run. Hayden Wesneski added to his previous long-relief scoreless appearance, tossing 2 1/3 innings and getting the win. Wesneski continues to impress in his latest stint with the major league club, hoping to never look back. The right-hander has pitched 6 1/3 innings so far in 2024 with a dazzling 0.16 WHIP.

Wesneski handed the ball over to Hector Neris, who saved the ball game over his former team. Neris’ third save of the year adds another level to the Cubs’ bullpen, one they’re going to need if Adbert Alzolay continues to struggle. It wasn’t a clean ninth inning for the one-time Astro, as Neris walked two batters to put the go-ahead run at the plate three times before inducing two fielders’ choices and a groundout to end the ball game.

Battered Cubs’ Lineup Gets Job Done

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The injury bug has bitten the Chicago Cubs early and often in the 2024 season. The top two arms in the starting rotation have already missed time, and with a pair of mid-section injuries to Seiya Suzuki and Cody Bellinger, the heart of the lineup is also under fire. Michael Busch has been a pleasant surprise in the early going, but it was a different crop of youngsters that carried the day for the Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon.

Miguel Amaya and Pete Crow-Armstrong drove in the Cubs’ three runs at the bottom of the order, but the majority of the action was at the top of the order with Nico Hoerner and Mike Tauchman. The top two hitters in the lineup reached base a combined seven times, with Hoerner being one of the only batters to find success battling Astros starter Justin Verlander.

As the team deals with early-season ailments, contributions throughout the batting order will be crucial to Chicago’s success. On a day where Michael Busch went 0-4 with two strikeouts, overcoming a three-time Cy Young Award winner and former AL MVP to complete a sweep is an impressive feat for the depleted Cubs’ lineup.

Chicago Cubs Take on East Coast

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After today’s victory, the Chicago Cubs have no rest. After sweeping the Houston Astros, the Cubs will continue interleague play over the weekend, heading to Boston to take on the Red Sox. Friday’s game starts at 6:10 PM CST. It’s going to be a great pitchers’ duel between early-season surprises.

Rookie Shota Imanaga will toe the rubber for the Chicago Cubs, and Kutter Crawford will take the mound for the Red Sox. Imanaga comes into this start with a 3-0 record, 0.84 ERA, and .075 WHIP in 21 1/3 innings. Crawford enters with a 1-0 record, league-leading 0.66 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings.

Also Read: Chicago Cubs: Cy Young Hopeful to be Sidelined for a Month, Chicago Cubs Slugger, Rejected by Dodgers, on Four-Homer Tear, Chicago Cubs Lose 2023 Silver Slugger to Injured List

New on MLB: Boston Red Sox Shockingly Lose 13th Player to Injured List

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Mathias Woerner is a college student based in the Chicagoland area hoping to help inform and entertain fans for sports of all kinds. He hopes Craig Counsell will put Mike Tauchman back at the top of the lineup as the lead-off hitter.

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