The top Wrigley Field moments from 2023 Cubs season
This past week, the Cubs wrapped up their final games at Wrigley Field for the 2023 regular season, and it’s safe to say that Cubs fans witnessed a lot of exciting moments this season.
Wrigley is a baseball monument and for the Cubs, there were some monumental moments that captured their season. Here are the 5 best Cubs moments, ranked, at Wrigley Field in 2023.
1. Christopher Morel’s walk-off home run vs. the White Sox
There were so many notable moments at Wrigley Field this season, but Morel’s homer has to be No. 1. The emotion – between playing a crosstown rival, losing the first game, down 2 entering the 9th and being in the thick of the playoff hunt – was all there, and with two men on base, he hit arguably one of the most memorable Cubs walk-offs in recent memory.
The Cubs could not get anything going on offensively until the 8th inning, when Nick Madrigal hit a solo shot. The next inning, Morel provided the Cubs with the top moment at Wrigley Field with one swing. A walk-off home run, the first of his career, in a rivalry that means so much for Chicago baseball fans – it does not get much better than that.
2. Justin Steele cements himself in the Cy Young Race against the Giants
Much of the Cubs’ success this season could not have come without their ace, Justin Steele. Steele has been one of the best pitchers in the National League this season, and this was on full display on Labor Day against another Wild Card contender in San Francisco.
Steele pitched 8 innings, allowing only 2 hits, zero runs and striking out a career-high 12 batters, cementing himself in the NL Cy Young conversation. It was a testament to Steele’s dominance all year and also set a tone for the rest of the series. The Cubs went on to sweep the Giants at Wrigley in early September.
3. Marcus Stroman pitches a complete game
While Steele has been the center of the Cubs’ pitching staff this season, Stroman took a lot of the early season spotlight. Before the All-Star Break, Stroman posted a 9-6 record with a 2.97 ERA in 19 games; this stellar half was best shown by his complete game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Memorial Day.
The Rays had the best record in baseball at the time at 39-16, and Stroman put up one of the best performances of his career, going all 9 innings, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 8.
4. Alexander Canario’s grand slam in his first start
Coming into this game, the Cubs were in a slump and just got swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the offense put up a show against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In a resounding 14-1 victory on Sept. 19, it seemed that every player got into the action, but none of them were more notable than Alexander Canario.
After being called up to the majors two and a half weeks before, Canario finally made his first major league start in his 2nd MLB game. In his 3rd at-bat he tallied his first hit on an RBI double. Then, in the 8th, with the Cubs leading 6-1, he provided a moment he’ll never forget: hitting a grand slam and blowing the roof off Wrigley Field. As Morel best said postgame, you could just feel it coming. Canario’s first start was poetic.
5. Cubs rally vs. Mariners, capped off by Nelson Velázquez’s grand slam
All year, the Cubs have shown they can respond to a punch, and this April 11 Mariners game was a perfect example. Seattle scored 7 runs in the first 2 innings to take a 7-0 lead, and in the bottom of the 3rd, Chicago brought the house down.
Trey Mancini hit a 2-run homer to get the Cubs within 4, and then Eric Hosmer had an RBI single to make the score 7-4. Then, with the bases loaded, Nelson Velázquez hit a grand slam to give the Cubs the lead. The Cubs went on to score 1 more run in the inning and won 14-9 in one of the most exciting games of the season.
Honorable mention: 13-0 thrashing vs Dodgers and Drew Smyly’s near perfect game
This April 21 game was an early-season statement by the Cubs on both ends. First, the offense put on a show, tallying 13 runs against the Dodgers. But what was more impressive was Drew Smyly, who had a perfect game going through 7 innings against one of the best lineups in baseball.
Smyly has had an up-and-down season, including a switch from a starting pitcher to a reliever, but this was his best appearance of the year. Cubs fans got to see a gem and an offensive masterpiece in one sitting.