Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/15/24): Cubs 3, D-Backs 2 F/11 – Hoerner Heroics Lead to Extra-Innings Win

The Cubs traveled to Arizona to start a series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field Monday night and, per usual with games in the desert, it was a bizarre extra-innings affair. Unlike last September’s sweep by the snakes, however, Chicago was able to grab the victory in the 11th inning.

Michael Busch continued his insane homer streak hitting a solo shot off of Merrill Kelly in the 2nd for his fifth consecutive game with a longball. Ben Brown got the start and was outstanding, allowing only a Jake McCarthy RBI single in six innings of work Monday.

Neither lineup could do anything for most of the game and the score remained deadlocked up to the 8th inning. The D-backs finally scratched out a run in the bottom of that frame when Corbin Carroll singled home a run from third with Drew Smyly on the mound.

The Cubs threatened in the 9th after singles from Nico Hoerner and Mike Tauchman put runners on first and second with two outs. With Ian Happ at the plate, reliever Kevin Ginkel uncorked a very wild pitch and Hoerner sprinted all the way around from second to score the tying run with a dramatic headfirst slide into home.

The game went to extras and neither team could score in the 10th inning. The Cubs then loaded the bases in the 11th and were able to take a one-run lead on a single by Hoerner. Keegan Thompson, who kept Arizona off the scoreboard in the 10th, was able to keep the courtesy runner from scoring in the 11th as well to secure the 3-2 win for his team and himself. (Box score)

Key Moment

With the offense struggling of late, runs have been very hard to come by. It was a great decision by Hoerner to be aggressive and try to make something happen with two outs in the 9th. He put pressure on the defense to make a play and they couldn’t do it.

Why the Cubs Won

They got an outstanding pitching effort from the bullpen and Brown, who had a quality start. That was just enough to scrape out a win despite the lack of hitting.

Stats That Matter

  • Just an outstanding effort for Brown on Monday: 6 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 4 K and 2 BB. If he keeps this up, it’s going to be very hard to take him out of the rotation.
  • Busch has tied a Cubs record with a homer in five consecutive games; others to do it are Hack Wilson, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, and Christopher Morel.
  • Hoerner has struggled early but he was outstanding in every aspect of this game. He made huge plays on offense, defense, and on the basepaths.
  • With the bullpen having issues so far this season, getting Thompson to return to his 2022 form would be massive. He is throwing hard and getting nasty movement on his slider.

Bottom Line

It seems like games in Arizona are never easy and Monday was no exception, but the Cubs hung around and snuck one out to start off the last leg of this road trip. With Seiya Suzuki hitting the injured list and the rest of the offense scuffling, the Cubs are going to have to win some low-scoring battles. That’s been the case in the last two games, though giving the bullpen a break might be nice.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 8:40pm CT as Kyle Hendricks tries to turn things around against young lefty Tommy Henry in a match up available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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