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Chicago Cubs Score & Recap (5/5/24): Cubs 5, Brewers 0 – Assad Deals in Shutout Win

The Cubs not only had a chance to win their series against the Brewers Sunday, but also to move into a tie for first place in the National League Central. Chicago got another great starting pitching performance and built a big lead in the middle innings. However, unlike the drama of Saturday afternoon, the bullpen fully cooperated and the home team took the shutout victory.

Javier Assad was his usual steady self, throwing six scoreless frames around a pair of base runners without ever getting flustered. Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta joined him early and the game remained tied for four innings.

The Cubs finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth after an infield single by Pete Crow-Armstrong and a hit-by-pitch by Miguel Amaya made it two with one out. Nico Hoerner next came to the plate and hit a two-run double to right-center to give his team the lead. Hoerner would come around later in the inning to score on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

The slumping Dansby Swanson added a solo home run in the 6th and Christopher Morel had an RBI single in the 7th to extend Chicago’s lead to 5-0. Yency Almonte and Daniel Palencia allowed only one man to reach base in three innings of relief as the Cubs rolled to a victory. (Box score)

Key moment

The Cubs had fallen short on a few previous chances on Sunday, so it was important for Hoerner to get the big hit in the 5th and back up a pitcher who didn’t need much help in this one.

Why the Cubs won

They were firing on all cylinders in this game. Pitching, hitting and defense all performed very well. Perhaps most importantly, there was absolutely no problem with ‘pen Sunday’.

Statistics that matter

  • Assad just keeps going about his business and taking people out: 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 K and 3 BB.
  • Morel has been perfect with three walks and a single and is showing much more patience so far this year.
  • Swanson made two great defensive plays in addition to his home run in what was probably his best game of 2024.
  • Palencia got his fastball velocity up to 101 mph in his outing and could be a very intriguing bullpen option for the rest of the season.

In short

The Cubs starting pitching in the series was absolutely stellar, not allowing a single run in the 18.1 innings. Sunday showed how scary they can be when they get consistent work out of the bullpen. Despite the problems, some potentially reliable relief options are beginning to emerge. Justin Steele’s impending return can only benefit the pitching staff as a whole. Chicago certainly doesn’t have to fear the Brewers, they’re not going away by any means, but Craig Counsell’s squad is the most talented group as long as they can stay healthy.

On deck

The San Diego Padres come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set beginning Monday at 6:40 PM CT. The aforementioned Justin Steele is expected to return for the start against former Cub Yu Darvish in a match broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.