Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/29/24): Cubs 5, Brewers 3 – Cubs Wake Up, Beat Brewers Late

The Cubs had another very sloppy performance against the Brewers early on Saturday afternoon at American Family Field. Unlike Friday, however, Chicago was able to tighten things up, take a late lead, and survive the traditional 9th inning scare to earn a victory.

The Cubs jumped on the first two pitches Milwaukee starter Tobias Myers threw Saturday. Nico Hoerner singled followed by a two-run homer by Michael Busch, which put the road team ahead 2-0 in the 1st.

Justin Steele pitched well to start the game, before more questionable defense by the Cubs led to big issues in the 3rd.

With a runner on second and one out in that frame, Steele snagged a grounder back to the mound catching Sal Frelick between second and third. That started a rundown which Hoerner held too long before throwing to third baseman Christopher Morel. Frelick avoided the tag and everyone was safe. Brice Turang then bunted back to the mound and the Cubs pitcher dropped the ball. A run came home. A William Contreras bloop single tied the score at 2-2.

Steele struck out the next two hitters to avoid further damage, walked into the dugout and screamed at anyone within earshot to: ”wake the F up!” Pete Crow-Armstrong must have heard him because he knocked in a run with a single in the top of the 4th. Milwaukee was able to even it up again with an RBI ground out by Frelick in the bottom half of the inning.

The North Siders moved into the lead a third time when Ian Happ hit a clutch two-run homer off of Joel Payamps in the 8th. That made it a 5-3 game. The Cubs decided things weren’t stressful enough so they tapped Héctor Neris to get the save. Not surprisingly, the winning run came to the plate but Neris got a pair of strikeouts and avoided disaster to close out the 5-3 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

With two outs in the bottom of the 7th the Brewers had runners on first and third. Turang deliberately got caught off of first base hoping Andruw Monasterio could steal home from third and give them a lead. Chicago did a much better job executing the rundown this time with Morel feeding reliever Luke Little who easily tagged out Monasterio at the plate with his very long reach.

Why the Cubs Won

They got a quality start and some timely power to help lead the way to a win. It also helped that they were able to cut down the mistakes they were making early in the afternoon.

Stats That Matter

  • It was another start without a win for Steele but this time at least his team was able to come out on top thanks to his continued good work: 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 5 K, and 0 BB.
  • Busch also had a single and a walk and has been very good in his rookie season. He’s looking much more comfortable playing first base.
  • Happ has his power stroke back and his OPS up to .768.

Bottom Line

Not sure if it actually matters but it was nice to see somebody on the Cubs get mad like Justin Steele did Saturday. With all the lazy plays and mental mistakes it was starting to feel like the whole team is apathetic. I know Craig Counsell has limited bullpen options, still, Neris should not be anywhere near a high-leverage spot right now. It’s not good for anyone’s cardiac health.

On Deck

The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:10pm CT. Kyle Hendricks gets the start against Freddy Peralta in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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