Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/15/24): Cubs 7, Braves 1 – Offense Snaps Funk to Avoid Sweep

The Cubs needed to avoid a sweep at Truist Park Wednesday night after two consecutive shutout losses. This was a much different contest right from the start as Chicago grabbed an early lead and never looked back, salvaging a win in the series finale.

Leadoff hitter Mike Tauchman jumped on the first pitch he saw from Charlie Morton and powered it the opposite way over the left field wall for a solo shot. Seiya Suzuki then doubled and Cody Bellinger singled to put men on the corners for Christopher Morel, who grounded out to short to score the Cubs’ second run of the inning. Pete Crow-Armstrong got hit by a pitch in the knee with the bases loaded for a painful RBI and the advantage was 3-0 before Atlanta even got to bat.

Javier Assad was on top of his game on Wednesday and had a terrific start, completely shutting down the powerful Braves lineup. Morton had an error on a pickoff attempt that brought home a run in the 3rd and Crow-Armstrong had an RBI bunt single to tally another in the 5th as the North Siders’ margin increased to 5-0.

Assad eventually put up six scoreless frames and was in complete control the entire night. Ben Brown came on in relief and gave up a run-scoring double to former Cub prospect Zack Short, who was a thorn in his former employer’s side all series long, to make it 5-1 in the 7th.

Chicago got that run right back the next inning when PCA tripled and came home on a Yan Gomes sac fly, which was followed by a solo homer off the bat of Suzuki. Brown handled the bottom of the 8th and the newly recalled Luke Little pitched around some wildness to close out the 7-1 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Cubs had not scored in 18 innings going into Wednesday’s game, so getting on the board immediately was a huge mental boost to the entire roster. They never trailed the entire night.

Why the Cubs Won

After a bad start on Tuesday night, the starting pitching returned to its usual dominance in this one. The offense also did a nice job adding insurance runs over the course of the game to ease the stress on the bullpen.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad did a nice job attacking the zone and probably could have pitched another inning if necessary: 6 IP, 0 R, 4H, 7K, and 1 BB.
  • Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni each got on base three times.
  • Crow-Armstrong displayed what a disruptor he could be with his terrific speed by beating out a bunt hit, stretching a double into a triple, and stealing a base.
  • Suzuki finally got rewarded for all the hard contact the past five games with two extra-base hits.

Bottom Line

After all the online angst in the wake of the first two games, the Cubs stopped the sweep attempt. That’s just fine on the road against one of the three best teams in baseball. Assad has been incredibly valuable so far in 2024 and is a big part of this good start to the season.

On Deck

Chicago returns to Wrigley Field for a four-game set with the Pirates starting Thursday at 6:40pm CT. Justin Steele looks to bounce back from a rough outing in Pittsburgh against hard-throwing righty Jared Jones in a contest airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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