The Cubs were able to continue playing spoiler against the Phillies at a chilly Wrigley Field on Wednesday night. One big inning combined with another quality pitching effort gave Chicago the series victory.
Philadelphia took the lead in the 3rd inning after a heads-up base running play by former Cub Kyle Schwarber. The left fielder nabbed third base on a delayed steal and came home on a Bryce Harper sacrifice fly. Otherwise, Hayden Wesneski was very effective yet again in keeping the road team off the board.
Aaron Nola was outstanding for the Phillies, tearing through the Cubs lineup early with six strikeouts in the first four innings. Things changed in a big way in the 5th when Chicago broke out for four runs. The big blow came on a three-run laser beam home run off the bat of Christopher Morel.
Home run No. 16.
What. A. Moment. pic.twitter.com/km4JdiZc8e
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 29, 2022
Harper knocked in another run in the 7th inning with an RBI groundout against Mark Leiter Jr. Brandon Hughes was able to strand a pair of base runners in the 8th and Manny Rodriguez took over with one out in the 9th inning and finished off another save. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
They came through with their one big opportunity with runners on base while Philadelphia came up short despite getting the leadoff hitter on base in each of the last six innings of the game.
Eye on the Future
- Wesneski has allowed a grand total of four runs in his three starts for the Cubs: 5 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 3 K, and 2 BB. The hits he did give up were all very soft contact.
- Morel got into a high fastball from Nola and crushed it to left.
- Hughes and Rodriguez are turning into a very effective one-two punch in the bullpen.
- Esteban Quiroz had two more hits as he keeps raking.
- The Phillies hit just 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position Wednesday.
The Cubs beat a playoff-contending team and they did it thanks almost entirely to young players. The pieces are there for future success and a big part of that is going to be Wesneski. It’s only been three starts but they have been tremendous efforts, definitely something we need to see more of in 2023.