The Cubs opened the second half of 2022 in Philadelphia Friday night hoping to begin on a high note. They did just that, smashing the Phillies for 15 runs in a blowout victory.
Kyle Schwarber greeted his former team with a leadoff home run against Justin Steele to put Philadelphia up 1-0. Willson Contreras was able to tie the game up in the 4th inning with a solo shot to left.
The Cubs proceeded to blow the game wide open in the top of the 5th inning with six runs. Christopher Morel doubled in a run and then came home to score on a wild throw during a run-down. Ian Happ singled in a run and ended Phillie starter Kyle Gibson‘s night.
Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom hit back-to-back doubles off of Jeurys Familia for a 7-1 lead. Nelson Velázquez came on as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning and hit two home runs in the top of the 8th and 9th innings, driving in five runs. Seiya Suzuki added another home run to make it a 15-2 rout. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The offense finally showed up to support another quality pitching effort.
Eye on the Future
- Morel got on base four times Friday and also made some excellent defensive plays at second.
- Steele had some control issues but was very effective: 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 K, and 4 BB.
- Velázquez showed the kind of big-time power he possesses by blasting two home runs.
- Erich Uelmen made his major league debut pitching in the 9th inning and gave up a home run.
Stats That Matter
- Contreras was able to get on base four times Friday including his first home run since June.
- Happ and Suzuki both finished with four hits.
The Cubs certainly kicked off the second half with a bang. A lot of the young players that they hope to build on had big nights as did their main trade chips. The trade deadline is August 2 and we should have more clarity on the Cubs’ future at that point.