Now that was a fun baseball game!
That could have been said even if the Cubs had lost it, but it was entertaining nonetheless. There were five lead changes and five home runs on a blustery day at Wrigley, and in the end, Christopher Morel’s two-run homer in the sixth inning provided the winning margin in an 8-7 Cubs win over the Brewers, his fourth win. in a row, and third in a row by one run, improving the team’s record for one-run games to 17-22.
Beyond Morel’s home run and other solid offensive performances, the Cubs’ bullpen stood out, with Steven Brault, Michael Rucker, Mark Leiter Jr. and Brandon Hughes combining for three scoreless innings with two hits and no runs allowed, with three strikeouts
Those aren’t names you would have expected to hear earlier this year helping the Cubs to victory, but here we are, and congratulations to all of them.
Let’s rewind to the beginning of this satisfying victory.
Keegan Thompson struggled in the first inning and eventually hit a two-run homer off Andrew McCutchen. The Cubs got that and more back in the bottom of the inning. Nick Madrigal led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, he scored on this double by Seiya Suzuki. [VIDEO].
As you can see, Suzuki didn’t miss a home run by much, but he did end up scoring on a triple, yes, another triple! — by Franmil Reyes [VIDEO].
Once again, that didn’t fail long to get out of the outfield, and when it bounced away from the Brewers’ outfielders, Reyes finished third.
Prior to this week, Reyes had two career triples in 1,837 plate appearances. Now, he has two more in his last 21. Plus, this:
Franmil Reyes is one of 10 players (since 1901) who began his Cubs career with at least a 9-game hitting streak. Seiya Suzuki also did it this year.
The modern club record is a 16-game hitting streak by Vance Law to begin his career with the Cubs in 1988.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 19, 2022
The Cubs didn’t finish in the first inning either. Ian Happ beat this little dribbler down the third base line, driving in Reyes [VIDEO].
Thompson had an easy 1-2-3 second and the Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Christopher Morel singled and advanced to second on Madrigal’s single. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, which proved important when Willson Contreras hit this fly ball. [VIDEO].
Morel, who was third on a wild pitch, scored to make it 3-3.
Unfortunately, Thompson again got into trouble in the third, serving up a home run to Rowdy Tellez and then, after a walk, Hunter Renfroe also homered to make it 5-3 for the Brewers.
I got the impression that both starting pitchers seemed a little taken aback by the planes flying over the ballpark for practice day for the Chicago Air and Water Show. Each of them came down from the mound several times to collect themselves.
Thompson retired the first two batters in the fourth, but when he walked with two out, David Ross replaced him with Kervin Castro, who came out of the inning and then pitched a 1-2-3 fifth.
The Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Madrigal led off with a single, his third hit of the afternoon. He advanced to second on a groundout, and then Patrick Wisdom brought him home. [VIDEO].
That was lead change number three, now 6-5 Cubs.
But Castro couldn’t hold things in the sixth. He walked and one out later, Tyrone Taylor’s double put runners on second and third. Steven Brault came on and recorded the second out, who scored a game-tying run and advanced Taylor to third, but then Morel couldn’t handle a short ball and an infield hit drove in Taylor with Milwaukee’s second run of the inning to give them the lead again at 7-6, lead change number four.
The Cubs provided lead change number five in the bottom of the sixth. Happ led off with a single, but the next two Cubs were called strikes.
Morel then hit a baseball about four rows below me in the left field corner. [VIDEO].
That was Morel’s 12th year, and this is impressive:
That’s when the Cubs relievers blocked out the rest of the afternoon. Rucker threw an easy 1-2-3 seventh of 13 pitches, with some defensive help from PJ Higgins [VIDEO].
Leiter struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth, the last two with nasty changes. So Brandon Hughes was called up to pitch the ninth, probably because two of the first three batters were left-handed.
Christian Yelich led off the inning with a single, but Hughes had Willy Adames fly to center field. Rowan Wick was warming up and probably would have come into the game to throw to McCutchen, but Hughes had Tellez hit a game-ending double play. [VIDEO].
So, two days in a row, the Cubs wrap up a one-run win with a double play. This game was pitched well by the Cubs’ late-inning relievers and they got enough opportunistic hitting to win their fourth straight and 10th in their last 14 attempts. The complaints department is declared closed!
Let me preface this next statement by noting that no, it doesn’t really matter what uniform the Cubs wear, but they are now 4-1 wearing City Connect Wrigleyville outfits. Maybe they should do it more often.
Weather permitting, these teams will meet again on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Marcus Stroman will start for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta will go for Milwaukee. Game time is again at 1:20 pm CT and television coverage will be on the Marquee Sports Network.