Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/4/24): Cubs 6, Brewers 5 – Cubs Power Through Bullpen Meltdown to Win

The Cubs were hoping to bounce back Saturday after a tough loss late in Friday’s game against the Brewers. Chicago raced out to a big early advantage before having to survive another bullpen adventure to escape with a one-run victory.

Nico Hoerner opened things up with a bang, hitting a solo home run to open the bottom of the 1st inning. Milwaukee starter Tobias Myers then walked the next three batters to load the bases with nobody out. Unfortunately, the Cubs could only get one additional tally on a Michael Busch groundout and were up 2-0.

Jameson Taillon picked right up where he left off in New York, completely shutting down the Brewers lineup through six scoreless frames. Christopher Morel doubled the lead with a long two-run bomb in the 3rd inning. Patrick Wisdom provided even more insurance with a line-drive rocket homer in the 6th that put the home team in front 5-0.

Keegan Thompson came on relief in the 7th inning and things got away from him in a hurry. A walk, a triple, and a two-run homer by Blake Perkins got Milwaukee within 5-3 before an out was recorded. Thompson was finally yanked after another single for Mark Leiter Jr., who immediately gave up a double to Sal Frelick and, to make matters worse, Mike Tauchman made a throwing error firing to second that allowed a fourth run to score.

Leiter was fortunately able to lock in at that point and get a ground out and two strikeouts to preserve the 5-4 advantage. The Cubs got critical insurance in the 8th inning when Busch tripled and Wisdom singled him home to make it 6-4.

It was another wild ride when Héctor Neris came on for the save attempt in the 9th. A walk and an infield single put the tying runs on with one out for William Contreras, who wasted no time getting an RBI single to cut the margin to 6-5. It was at that point that Neris pulled his Houdini act again with a strikeout and a ground ball to seal the win. (Box score)

Key Moment

Wisdom’s RBI single in the 8th inning was huge with the myriad bullpen issues the Cubs are currently having. Turns out they absolutely needed it too after giving up a run in the final frame.

Why the Cubs Won

The starting pitcher was very good yet again but this time the hitters provided offense, including home run power, that was just enough to overcome the very shaky relief corps.

Stats That Matter

  • Taillon has been absolutely lights out so far in 2024 and Saturday was no different: 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K, and 2 BB.
  • Wisdom is going to get a lot of time at DH with Matt Mervis back in Iowa and he made the most of it in this game.
  • Ian Happ had two singles and a walk, hopefully it’s a positive trend going forward.

Bottom Line

Outside of Leiter, the bullpen is an absolute roller coaster right now and you really can’t count on anyone. The rest of the team is doing pretty well so far but these relief issues continue to loom over every single game they play. There are going to be a lot more tense moments in the next few weeks until Craig Counsell gets a little bit more stability in the back end.

On Deck

The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:20pm CT. Javier Assad takes on Freddy Peralta in a game available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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