Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/29/24): Cubs 3, Mets 1 – Morel Blast Wins Taillon Gem

The Cubs and Mets began their series at Citi Field Monday night with a low-scoring affair that was decided on a dramatic home run in the final inning. Both starters worked into the 8th but it was Chicago that was able to do damage against New York’s elite closer en route to victory.

The Mets took the lead in their first at bat of the game when Brandon Nimmo hit a solo home run off of Jameson Taillon. The righty was incredibly sharp after that, allowing only three hits over the next 7.1 innings of work.

Unfortunately, New York starter Luis Severino was even better Monday as he kept the Cubs without a hit through the first seven frames. They finally got a rally going in the top of the 8th with a Michael Busch walk and a bloop single from Dansby Swanson to break up the no-hit bid. After a groundout moved Busch to third, pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal picked up the game-tying RBI on a grounder to third base.

Chicago was able to take the lead against the terrific Mets closer, Edwin Díaz, in the top of the 9th. Mike Tauchman doubled with one out and then Christopher Morel jumped on a high fastball on a 3-1 count and hit a massive go-ahead two-run homer to make it 3-1. Héctor Neris came on in the bottom of the frame and walked a pair of batters before managing to nail down the save. (Box score)

Key Moment

Third baseman Joey Wendle appeared to have a chance to throw out Busch at the plate on Madrigal’s RBI grounder in the 8th. Instead, he tried to start a double play around the bases to get out of the inning and it wasn’t nearly in time.

Why the Cubs Won

They got a really great start from Taillon, which gave the offense just enough time to score the winning runs.

Stats That Matter

  • Taillon seems to be getting better with every outing and was very aggressive in the zone: 7.1 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 K, and 1 BB.
  • Morel has been showing signs that he is coming out of his slump but that moonshot homer is the most obvious sign so far.
  • Tauchman continues to come up with big hits and was the only Cub to reach base twice Monday.

Bottom Line

That was a game the Cubs probably don’t win in 2023. They did not seem flustered even when they were being no-hit or when facing one of the best closers in baseball. It’s a very good thing to get in the habit of doing because the games aren’t going to get any easier going forward. Taillon pitching anywhere near as well as he is right now going forward will make a huge difference in Chicago’s rotation.

On Deck

The two sides are back at it Tuesday night at 6:10pm CT. Javier Assad takes the hill against lefty Sean Manaea with broadcasts available on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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