The Cubs came to San Francisco on Friday night looking to snap a four-game losing streak in the first of three games at Oracle Park. Marcus Stroman once again brought it on the mound and Chicago was able to finally get a couple of hits with the bases loaded to pull out a much-needed win.
Stroman and his Giants counterpart, Anthony DeSclafani, were on their games Friday and only a single run was scored in the first six innings. Unfortunately for the Cubs, that tally came on a double from Thairo Estrada in the bottom of the 3rd.
DeSclafani started to run out of steam in the top of the 7th, giving up a single to Seiya Suzuki and then walking Ian Happ to end his night. Reliever Ryan Walker took over and had big-time control issues, hitting Matt Mervis to load the bases for pinch-hitter Nico Hoerner.
Hoerner lined the first pitch he saw right back up the middle for the go-ahead two-run single. After Christopher Morel drew a walk to load the bases again, the light-hitting Tucker Barnhart singled back up the middle to give Chicago a critical insurance run.
#2 drives in 2 for the lead!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 10, 2023
Former Cub Joc Pederson beat out an infield single in the bottom of the frame to bring home Brandon Crawford from third and cut the road team’s lead to just 3-2. Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay shut down San Francisco in the final two innings to seal the victory. (Box score)
It feels like Chicago has come up empty with the bases loaded all season long, so getting two hits in a row in that situation was huge.
Why the Cubs Won
Stroman was able to play stopper again and two of the more reliable options in the bullpen came through late.
Stats That Matter
- That makes three consecutive terrific starts for Stroman: 6.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 5 K, and 4 BB.
- Suzuki reached base four times Friday with a double, two singles, and a walk.
- Hoerner had a pair of hits in two at-bats off the bench.
Without three consecutive wins from their ace, the Cubs would be in very bad shape right now. Alzolay is by far Chicago’s best bullpen option and should definitely be the closer from this point forward. Winning is much more fun than losing, so more of that please.