Wicks, a first-round pick of the Cubs in 2021, threw five innings in the game, striking out nine batters and allowing just one earned run while picking up his first career victory.
The contest got off to a rough start for Wicks as he gave up a solo home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes, and then allowed Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen to reach base without recording an out.
From there, the young hurler was flawless, retiring the final 15 batters he faced before exiting the game after five innings of work.
According to the Marquee Sports Network, the 15 consecutive batters retired by Wicks is the best performance in a Cubs debut since at least 1974, eclipsing the 11-consecutive batters retired by Hayden Wesneski when he made his debut with the team last season.
The nine strikeouts were also impressive in their own right, as Wicks became the first Cubs pitcher since at least 1901 to strike out nine or more batters in his MLB debut, according to Baseball Reference’s Stathead tool.
Finally, according to Christopher Kamka of NBC Sports Chicago, Wicks became just the third Cubs pitcher to record a win and strike out at least nine batters in his MLB debut, joining Mark Prior (2002) and Dutch Reuther (1917).
Wicks and Prior also share one other thing in common. Wicks became the first Cubs pitcher chosen in the first round of the MLB Draft to start his debut since Prior did in 2002.
The Cubs will aim to finish off their series with the Pirates on a high note Sunday, as they try to keep pace with the surging Milwaukee Brewers ahead of a critical series at Wrigley Field.