The Cubs entered Saturday aiming to win their first series in almost three weeks to continue the roller coaster that has been July. Another quality start and some timely offense in extra innings enabled a rare series triumph for Chicago.
Nico Hoerner gave his team the lead in the 2nd inning when he crushed a hanging slider from Zack Wheeler for a solo homer. Wheeler was lights out from that point on and Cubs starter Marcus Stroman was just as good.
The Phillies were able to tie the game in the 7th when Darick Hall doubled and came home on a J.T. Realmuto single that ended Stroman’s night. Both sides had excellent chances to score, yet neither could and things moved to extra innings.
The Cubs offense exploded in the top of the 10th inning to take the lead. Ghost runner Nico Hoerner stole third base and came in ahead of a throw at the plate to score on a Frank Schwindel grounder to third. David Bote then doubled and Christopher Morel singled to plate another run.
Alec Bohm booted a Nelson Velázquez ground ball that allowed Bote and Morel to score, then Wilson Contreras doubled in Velázquez and the Cubs were up 6-1. Brandon Hughes came on and closed out the bottom of the frame and a 6-2 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Stroman was outstanding and the Cubs finally got the offense going in extras.
Eye on the Future
- Hoerner displayed all the tools he has at his disposal Saturday: power, speed, and defense, not to mention a great baseball IQ.
- Speaking of tools, Morel showed why he is so talented with a double, single, and his own terrific base running late in the game.
Stats That Matter
- Stroman continues to look excellent since returning from the injured list: 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 5 K, and 2 BB.
- Potential bullpen trade targets David Robertson and Mychal Givens were very good Saturday.
- Manager David Ross was ejected in the 9th inning arguing another egregious third strike call from the notorious CB Bucknor.
Stroman is starting to pitch like the guy the Cubs signed this off-season. Hoerner and Morel are becoming key pieces on this team and proving the future is now for them.