22 moments that sum up Cubs' 2022


In a season that was largely forgettable, there is plenty to look back on and remember about the Cubs in 2022.

The Cubs finished 74-88, enduring a second straight losing season in a year that saw memorable moments from familiar faces, final memories from 2016 heroes and the additions of new faces that bring hope for 2023.

But in the meantime, before the calendar turns to the new year, here are 22 moments that sum up 2022 for the Cubs.

April 7

In an Opening Day surprise, Nico Hoerner hit the Cubs’ first home run of 2022 — the fourth of his career and first since 2019.

That day set the tone for Hoerner's 2022. He answered questions about his ability to stay on the field and play shortstop in the big leagues, delivering a strong season to emerge as a building block for the Cubs.

May 2

While it was an uneven season for Seiya Suzuki as he acclimated to the major leagues, he started and finished strong. Suzuki won NL Rookie of the Month in April saw his production slow in May and then missed a month with a finger injury.

He hit .290 with an .830 OPS over his final 43 games, finishing with a .262/.336/.433 slash line in 111 games, and vowed to be more prepared in 2023.

May 17

The Cubs called up Christopher Morel from Double-A Tennessee and he hit a home run in his first big-league plate appearance, helping the Cubs beat the Pirates 7-0.

Not only that, but the rookie — who came off the bench as a pinch hitter — called his shot in the dugout an inning prior.

“You knew it was gone off the bat," manager David Ross said. "Shoot, man, that's the stuff you dream about."

June 4

Caleb Kilian, the Cubs’ most anticipated pitching prospect since Mark Prior, impressed with five innings of three-run ball in his big-league debut. 

Kilian made two more big-league starts that month and struggled with walks (10 in 6 1/3 innings). He spent the rest of the season in the minor leagues.

June 4-16

The Cubs went on their third double-digit losing streak in a calendar year — a first in franchise history.

Cubs starters produced a 6.39 ERA during the skid, with 60 percent of the Opening Day rotation on the injured list (Marcus Stroman, Drew Smyly and Wade Miley). They were outscored 90-30 in the 10 losses.

“As with any losing streak, it's sort of a multi-system failure,” Jed Hoyer said June 16, before loss No. 10.

June 9

The Cubs were prepared to have an arbitration hearing with Willson Contreras before reaching an agreement with the All-Star catcher. It came shortly before the scheduled hearing, which would have been just the ninth in franchise history.

June 10

“All the big markets have plenty of money to spend, so, yeah, a team like the Cubs should be competing every single year.”

That was Anthony Rizzo before he and the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Cubs — Rizzo's first time facing the Cubs since they traded him to New York at the 2021 deadline.

The Yankees swept the three-game series, outscoring the Cubs 28-5.

July 5

Kyle Hendricks made what turned out to be his last start off 2022, a three-inning outing against the Brewers, before a shoulder injury sidelined him the rest of the way.

Hendricks, the three-time Opening Day starter, finished the season with a career-high 4.80 ERA in 16 starts.

RELATED: Hendricks: 'I need to perform' to earn 2nd extension

July 8

Contreras earned his third career All-Star Game starting nod, tying Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett for most among catchers in Cubs history. He was joined by his brother, William, in the National League starting lineup.

July 10

Ian Happ, in a career that had been defined by extreme highs and lows offensively, earned his first career All-Star nod amid a breakout season.

Not only did Happ have his most consistent season offensively, but his best defensively. He ran with the opportunity to stick at one position, settling into left field, and won his first Gold Glove Award in October.

July 16

The Cubs dropped to 34-57 amid another long losing streak, which reached nine after a doubleheader sweep to the Mets.

“We're going to find a way to win," Ross said after the nightcap. "These guys keep giving effort every single day, day-night doubleheader against a first-place team with a $300 million payroll. These guys are fighting their ass off. So, really proud of that. Really proud of that."

July 25-26

“I knew it would get to me at some point. I wish this day never came.”

That was Contreras, who frequented trade rumors from spring training on and grew emotional amid the Cubs’ final home series before the deadline. He was in his 14th season with the Cubs organization, and it was widely expected he would be dealt.

A day later, he and Happ savored the Cubs’ final home game before the deadline. They received standing ovations throughout a 4-2 win over the Pirates and shared a long embrace in the Cubs’ dugout after the final out.

“I wanted to be out there for Willy,” Happ said. “I was going to stay out there and take it in.”

Aug. 2

The 5 p.m. trade deadline passed, and the Cubs surprisingly held on to both Contreras and Happ. It was recently reported the team had a deal in place to send Contreras to the Astros that Houston ownership nixed.

Sept 22.

Hayden Wesneski threw an immaculate inning against the Pirates, one of several highlights for the rookie down the stretch.

Wesneski — acquired from the Yankees at the deadline for Scott Effross — posted a 2.18 ERA in six games (four starts), including five shutout relief innings in his MLB debut.

Sept 26.

First base prospect Matt Mervis hit his 36th home run of the season, the most by a Cubs minor leaguer since Kris Bryant (43) in 2014.

Mervis, who hit six more homers in the Arizona Fall League, put himself on the map for a 2023 big-league debut with a breakout season between Single-, Double- and Triple-A. The Cubs named him their minor-league player of the year.

Sept. 29

The Phillies won the NL pennant, but the Cubs had their number in the regular season. They swept the season series 6-0 while outscoring Philadelphia 33-10, including a 15-2 win to open the second half.

Oct 5.

The Cubs ended the season on a high note with a 15-2 win over the Reds, putting a bow on a strong 39-31 record after the All-Star break.

Cubs starters ranked third with a 2.89 ERA after the break, trailing the Astros and Dodgers.

Oct. 10

In his end-of-season press conference, Hoyer vowed to be “aggressive” this offseason and said the Cubs “absolutely” want to compete in 2023.

The Cubs so far this winter have spent $290.8 million on six key free agents, signing Dansby Swanson, Jameson Taillon and Cody Bellinger this month.

Oct. 27

Top outfield prospect Alexander Canario fractured his ankle and dislocated his shoulder playing in the Dominican Winter League.

A farm system the Cubs are banking on was hit hard by injuries in 2022. Along with Canario, Ed Howard, Brennen Davis, Miguel Amaya and Brailyn Marquez missed significant time.

Nov. 14

The Cubs officially released Jason Heyward, after announcing in August their intentions to do so after the 2022 season. 

Heyward, a respected leader in the clubhouse and 2016 champ, was released with one season left on his eight-year contract, the largest in Cubs history.

He signed with the Dodgers and Contreras with the Cardinals, leaving Hendricks as the lone Cub remaining from the 2016 championship team.

Dec 7

Longtime voice of the Cubs Pat Hughes finally got recognition that was long overdue, winning the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award. The legendary Cubs broadcaster will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame next summer.

“We're talking about the greatest baseball announcers in the history of the game,” Hughes said. “To think that I'm in any part of that mix is something that's very satisfying and gratifying and thrilling. 

“It hasn't sunk in yet. But I'm very happy to be here.”

Dec. 21

The Cubs introduced Swanson to Chicago media after his seven-year, $177 million deal became official, and his 35-minute press conference centered around one central topic: winning. 

“At the end of the day, the vision and the goal is to win,” Swanson said. “Winning is the priority. And when that is the vision, and that's what you want to do, you make everything about winning.”

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