Christopher Morel atones for error with go-ahead two-run homer as Cubs beat Brewers

“I think he turns the page quickly,” manager David Ross said of Morel. “I think he wants to be great and perfect, like they all do. I think he’s got this kid-type energy when he plays. It’s on to the next thing.”

SHARE Christopher Morel atones for error with go-ahead two-run homer as Cubs beat Brewers
Christopher Morel celebrates after his two-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Cubs an 8-7 lead.

Christopher Morel celebrates after his two-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Cubs an 8-7 lead.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Like many talented youngsters, Christopher Morel tried to make a strong, long throw from shortstop that had no chance of nailing Willy Adames.

Adames’ hit scored the tying run and moved him into scoring position because of Morel’s errant throw.

But as part of the Cubs’ rebuilding process, manager David Ross is looking to see which players overcome their mistakes with an eye on the future.

Morel wasted little time Friday, as he pulled a two-run homer down the left-field line that enabled the Cubs to seize a wacky 8-7 victory over the Brewers.

“There’s a saying, ‘One pitch could change everything,’ ” Morel said. “So God gave me the opportunity, and I was able to take that pitch and make a big hit.”

The Cubs (51-67) showed their composure and resiliency against a Brewers team (63-55) trying to secure no worse than a National League wild-card berth.

That’s why Morel’s homer provided more encouragement for the future as the Cubs extended their winning streak to four games.

“I think he turns the page quickly,” Ross said. “I think he wants to be great and perfect, like they all do. I think he’s got this kid-type energy when he plays. It’s on to the next thing.

“It’s really good. He’s got that adrenaline that ‘I can make every play,’ and I think it takes experience to learn the ones you want to make. Even in the outfield, the smart throws, the ones you want to take the risk.

“But he turns the page very quickly. He’s engaged in every pitch. You watch his body language. He’s never down on himself. He smacks the glove and is right back at it. He does carry with that within, which is impressive for a young guy.”

Morel has made 40 of his 72 starts in center field. But with the Cubs in a stretch of 20 games in 19 days without a scheduled day off through Aug. 31 (including five against the first-place Cardinals and five more against the Brewers), Ross elected to give Nico Hoerner a rest and start Morel at short for only the third time.

Morel started his professional career as a shortstop but has played third, second and center as team officials assess where the team is best served. The emergence of Hoerner as an exceptional defender and a productive hitter who makes contact frequently also has necessitated Morel moving to other positions.

“I’m just trying to keep it simple,” Morel said of returning to short. “Just try to catch the ball and make an accurate throw to first.”

Morel entered the game in a 1-for-15 slump, but he hit a single with one out in the second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Seiya Suzuki.

But “he got a lot of confidence with that home run,” Ross said.

And so did the Cubs, who overcame three deficits and a short outing from Keegan Thompson, who tied his career high with three homers allowed in only 3‰ innings.

“We’re going to find out what we’re made of,” said Nick Madrigal, who continued his rebirth with three hits. “As of late, we’re playing great baseball. We have some good teams coming up, but I’d run this team out there with anyone right now. We’re playing good baseball and hope to keep it going.”

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