Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/5/24): Cubs 5, Brewers 0 – Assad Deals in Shutout Win

The Cubs had a chance not only to win their series against the Brewers Sunday, but also to move into a tie for first place in the National League Central. Chicago received another terrific starting pitching outing and built up a big lead in the middle innings. Unlike Saturday afternoon’s drama, however, the bullpen fully cooperated in this one and the home team picked up the shutout victory.

Javier Assad was his usual steady self, going six scoreless frames pitching around a few baserunners without ever getting flustered. Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta matched him early and the game remained tied through four innings.

The Cubs finally broke through in the bottom of the 5th after an infield single by Pete Crow-Armstrong and a Miguel Amaya hit-by-pitch put two on with one out. Nico Hoerner then came to the plate and hit a two-run double into right-center to give his team the lead. Hoerner would come around to score on a wild pitch later in the inning to make it 3-0.

The slumping Dansby Swanson added a solo home run in the 6th and Christopher Morel had an RBI single in the 7th to increase Chicago’s advantage to 5-0. Yency Almonte and Daniel Palencia allowed just a single man to reach base in three innings of relief as the Cubs rolled to a win. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Cubs had failed to come through on a couple of earlier chances on Sunday, so it was important for Hoerner to get the big hit in the 5th and support a pitcher who didn’t need much help in this one.

Why the Cubs Won

They were firing on all cylinders in this game. Pitching, hitting, and defense all performed very well. Perhaps most importantly, there was absolutely no issue with the ‘pen Sunday.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad just keeps handling his business and getting people out: 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 K, and 3 BB.
  • Morel was perfect with three walks and a single and is showing a ton more patience this year so far.
  • Swanson made two tremendous defensive plays in addition to his homer in what was probably his best overall game of 2024.
  • Palencia got his fastball velocity up to 101 mph in his appearance and could be a very intriguing bullpen option the rest of the season.

Bottom Line

The Cubs’ starting pitching in the series was absolutely amazing, not allowing a single run in 18.1 innings pitched. Sunday demonstrates how scary they could be if they get any consistent work from the bullpen. Despite the issues, some possibly reliable relief options are starting to emerge. The imminent return of Justin Steele can only help the pitching staff as a whole. Chicago certainly should not be scared of the Brewers, they aren’t going away by any means, but Craig Counsell‘s squad is the more talented group as long as they can stay healthy.

On Deck

The San Diego Padres come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set beginning Monday at 6:40pm CT. The aforementioned Justin Steele is expected to return for the start against former Cub Yu Darvish in a contest broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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