The Cubs headed to Philadelphia after a day off spent recovering from a weekend sweep at the hands of the Giants. After an inauspicious start, David Ross‘s crew got back to their winning ways behind a solid pitching effort and some extra-base power.
The Phillies took a quick lead in the bottom of the 1st on a leadoff home run from Odubel Herrera. Cubs starter Adrian Sampson settled down after that, using timely double plays to keep the home team from extending the edge.
Chicago had a power surge in the 5th inning after Philadelphia’s starter Kyle Gibson had gone four perfect frames. Patrick Wisdom, finally breaking out of his slump, blasted a two-run home run to dead center to put the Cubs up 2-1. Alfonso Rivas followed with his first career longball to make it back-to-back jacks. Rafael Ortega then added a run-scoring double in what became a four-run outburst.
The Phillies rallied in the bottom of the 6th against Sampson and Manny Rodriguez when Bryce Harper doubled in a run and scored on a Didi Gregorius single to make it 4-3. That was as close as Philadelphia would get, however, as the Cubs bullpen locked down the final three innings.
Why the Cubs Won
A quality start from Sampson allowed the Cubs offense time to get going against the questionable Philly pitching staff.
Willson Contreras hit a seemingly innocuous single in the top of the 5th inning that broke up Gibson’s perfect game and kicked off a four-run Cubs rally.
Stats That Matter
- Sampson kept the ball on the ground with his sinker and induced three double plays: 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 3 K, and 2 BB.
- Wisdom also had a double as he tries to shake off his scuffles of late.
- Wick struck out the side in the 9th inning for his fourth save of the season.
- Scott Effross struck out two, including Harper, in a perfect 10-pitch 8th inning.
Once again, the Cubs caused a problem for a team attempting to make the postseason. It was nice to see Rivas add power to his already excellent plate approach, though the best news of the game might have been top prospect Brennan Davis hitting a pair of homers in his Triple-A debut.