Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/9/24): Cubs 5, Padres 1 – Monster Morel Slam Leads to Victory

The Cubs were hoping to bounce back on Tuesday night after squandering an eight-run lead to the Padres on Monday. Chicago got a very good start and once again built up a big advantage in the middle innings, but this time the story had a much happier ending with the road team holding on for a relatively stress-free win.

Ben Brown made his first career MLB start and was very good Tuesday, going 4.2 scoreless innings. The big righty was limited to around 75 pitches or he could have easily thrown another frame or two. Joe Musgrove was able to match Chicago’s starter through the first four to keep the game tied before he ran into trouble in the top of the 5th.

Yan Gomes led off the inning by jumping on a hanging curveball and hitting it out to center for a solo homer. A walk, a single, and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with nobody out and ended Musgrove’s night. Stephen Kolek came on in relief and was greeted rudely by Christopher Morel, who drilled an absolutely mammoth grand slam into the upper deck in left to make it 5-0 Cubs.

There was a moment of tension when pinch-hitter Eguy Rosario opened the bottom 6th inning with a solo shot off Drew Smyly to cut the deficit to 5-1. That turned out to be it, however, as the Padres did not get a hit from that point on and Adbert Alzolay had a no-drama performance in the 9th to finish off Chicago’s 5-1 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

Morel got a hanging slider over the heart of the plate on a 2-0 count and he stomped all over it for a majestic grand slam that gave the Cubs a comfortable lead they would never relinquish.

Why the Cubs Won

The bullpen was significantly better Tuesday after the disaster on Monday night. Which combined with a good starting performance and the home runs was a formula for a win.

Stats That Matter

  • Brown demonstrated good control on Tuesday; when that’s the case, good results usually follow: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
  • Morel had another hit and walk in addition to the granny.
  • Seiya Suzuki singled three times as he stays locked in at the plate.
  • Smyly, Yency Almonte, and Mark Leiter Jr. all did terrific work in relief to keep the Cubs ahead.

Bottom Line

This was a very encouraging performance after a tough loss on Monday. Sometimes games like that can have a hangover effect that can last for a few days. The Cubs instead had an all-around solid performance hitting, pitching, and on defense and got right back in the win column. It really feels like the sky is the limit with Morel, who has the tools to be a star for years to come.

On Deck

The rubber match of the series is Wednesday at 5:40pm CT. Kyle Hendricks looks to shake off a bad beginning to the season against former Cub prospect Dylan Cease in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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