The Cubs came into Philadelphia Friday hoping to snap a five-game losing streak. Chicago was revitalized by the return of one of their stars and pounded the defending National League champions to halt the skid.
The Phillies grabbed the lead after a Bryce Harper groundball double set up a J.T. Realmuto sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 1st inning. Cubs starter Marcus Stroman settled in nicely after that and gave up nothing the rest of his outing.
Chicago rallied for four runs in the top of the 2nd against Ranger Suárez. Nick Madrigal began the scoring with a bases-loaded single up the middle to score a pair, then Nico Hoerner made an immediate impact off the injured list with a two-run double that gave the road team a 4-1 advantage.
The Cubs added another four-spot in the top of the 5th inning to put the affair on ice. Yan Gomes got a sacrifice fly and a misplayed Christopher Morel grounder chased home another tally. Hoerner then hit his second two-bagger of the night over Nick Castellanos‘ head in right to plate a couple more and build the margin to 8-1.
So great 2 have you back, Nico! 😊 pic.twitter.com/REcWqFHbhK
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 20, 2023
Morel launched yet another home run in the 9th to put the North Siders ahead 10-1. The bullpen was much better than Wednesday and Chicago easily sealed the win. (Box score)
Expanding the lead in the 5th inning was huge after the relief corps melted down on Wednesday. The bullpen had extremely low-leverage situations in all three frames they threw Friday.
Why the Cubs Won
They finally supplied Stroman with some run support for possibly the first time in 2023 and having Nico Hoerner on top of the lineup is pretty nice.
Stats That Matter
- Stroman bounced back nicely from a bad performance against Minnesota: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
- Hoerner had three hits and four RBI in his return to the lineup Friday.
- Gomes had two more hits and got robbed of another.
- Seiya Suzuki reached base three more times as he stayed white hot.
This was a very nice bounce-back game for the Cubs after a very tough loss Wednesday night. Giving Marcus Stroman offensive support is usually a very good formula to win. Hoerner completely transforms Chicago’s lineup and will make a huge difference.