CHICAGO — After losses in seven of their last eight games, the Cubs finally had a day full of positives on Friday at Wrigley Field.
Not only did they get a much-needed victory in their chase for a Wild Card spot, but Marcus Stroman’s date for a return to the rotation has been set.
First, on the field, the Cubs made quick work of the Rockies on a warm day at the Friendly Confines, beating them 6-0 in an all-around strong effort after two-straight losses to the Pirates this week.
Jamison Taillon delivered one of his best outings of the season, throwing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts compared to four walks to get his eighth victory.
Meanwhile, Seiya Suzuki continued his strong September with a three-RBI afternoon, driving in the first run of the game on a single then bringing in two more on a homer in the fourth inning. Jared Young gave the Cubs insurance with a two-run sixth inning long ball while Dansby Swanson’s RBI single in the seventh completed the scoring.
The victory puts the Cubs at 80-74 on the season and, as of early Friday night, a half-game ahead of the Marlins for the last National League Wild Card spot.
Better news came from David Ross after the game when he announced that Stroman will make his return to the rotation on Saturday for the second game against the Rockies at Wrigley Field.
This will be the 2023 NL All-Star’s first start since July 31, which was just before he was placed on the injured list with right hip inflammation on August 2. But later it was discovered that he had a right rib cartilage fracture, which kept him out for a month and a half.
After a few bullpen sessions, Stroman was activated off the IL on September 15 and made relief appearances against the Diamondbacks that night and on September 16.