The Cubs limped into San Diego badly in need of a spark after a very rough weekend in Milwaukee. That spark came in the form of 2018 1st round pick Nico Hoerner, as the young shortstop had a truly epic debut in a big Cubs win.
Nicholas Castellanos gave Chicago a lead with a long two-run homer in the top of the 1st, but Hoerner really got the Cubs-heavy crowd going when he blooped a single to right for his first career hit. He would score on a wild pitch after reaching on a fielder’s choice in the 4th to make it 3-0. In the bottom of the inning, the Padres singled twice before an error by Ben Zobrist allowed a run to score, a subsequent sacrifice fly made it 3-2 heading to the 5th.
That’s when the Cubs exploded, starting with Kyle Schwarber blasting a solo homer off of Cal Quantrill. Castellanos and Victor Caratini singled to put two on for Hoerner, who wasted no time ripping a two-run triple to left field to make it 6-2.
Hoerner wasn’t done, later adding a two-run single in the 6th to give him four RBI. Hendricks pitched into the 6th and the bullpen handled the rest, sealing the 10-2 win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs’ young shortstop gave the lineup a big boost Monday. Hendricks was solid and kept the Padres at bay.
Things got tense after San Diego cut the lead to one in the 4th. Bouncing back with five was huge and Hoerner’s triple was the big blow.
Stats That Matter
- The Professor was decent, more than enough to win: 5.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- Hoerner had the best Cubs rookie debut since Starlin Castro in 2010. He also played stellar defense.
- Schwarber is up to 35 homers on the season.
- Castellanos had three more hits.
It was just one game, but Hoerner was a real shot of energy. Hopefully it can roll over to the rest of the series.