Cubs go 4-2 on West Coast swing after Justin Steele twirls a gem

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

If you’re curious, the new Doctor Strange movie felt pretty so-so to me. The good news is Sunday brought excitement in a different way, thanks to Cubs left-hander Justin Steele.

The 26-year-old Steele turned in the best start of his still-young big league career, allowing just one earned run and striking out 10 over six innings of work. We’ve gotten a little bit of everything from the left-hander this season, so to see him not only turn in a shutdown outing, but also complete six innings is a big win in my book.

Sunday’s start marks just the second time in his career Steele has pitched six or more innings, with the other coming in his final start of 2021, when he shut down the Pirates at PNC park, tossing seven scoreless frames.

Throw in the fact Steele’s performance led the Cubs to a series win in Arizona and cap off a 4-2 West Coast road trip against the Padres and Diamondbacks and, well, that’s a win no matter how you want to dissect it.

Chicago is still just 13-20 on the year, but has a nice stretch of schedule coming up where they could make up some ground in the standings, playing some very beatable teams. The home stand kicks off Monday as the Cubs welcome the Pirates to town for three before the Diamondbacks come in for a four-game weekend series. Then, David Ross and the boys will head to Cincinnati to take on the Reds for four next week.

Now as I sit here calling those three teams ‘very beatable’ it’s important to remember that the Cubs, themselves, fall firmly in that same category. Arizona is now 18-17, Pittsburgh is 15-19 and the Reds are 9-26. But, hey, the team will be back at Wrigley for a good chunk of that stretch and maybe they can get some home cooking going.

And if none of that was enough for you, then I leave you with this tweet that made my head explode: