"I'll take an 18-10 September, if there's that many games [in the month]," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The Phillies needed the win as they battle to secure a playoff spot. The Cubs were playing in their third city in three days, after a day game in Chicago on Wednesday and a makeup game in Atlanta on Thursday night. The Cards and Brewers both won Friday to pull within 3 1/2 and four games, respectively, of the division leaders.
"I liked the at-bats tonight, and we just didn't get the hit when it was necessary," Maddon said. "I don't know -- Atlanta last night, Philadelphia tonight, the day before it was Chicago. You can't get too crazy [or upset]. The guys are going through a tough stretch. We played, we played hard, we just didn't get the hit."
This is a grueling stretch of 23 games without a day off. Baez didn't use the travel as an excuse.
"I think baserunners, we just left too many baserunners on base," Baez said. "That's why we're not winning games. We've been winning games 1-0 in a few games with home runs and leaving a lot of baserunners on base. We're hitting the ball pretty good. We just have to get those runners in and we should be pretty good."
Rosters expand on Saturday, and the Cubs should get a boost when they activate Bryant from the disabled list.
On Friday, the game was tied at 1 when Cabrera launched a 1-2 pitch from Cishek to left-center for the game winner and the fifth walk-off homer of his career.
Quintana was in line for his 12th win until he served up a game-tying RBI single to Cesar Hernandez with two outs in the sixth inning. Quintana struck out seven and now has a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts.
"We pitched well," Maddon said. "We got a lot out of what we had in the bullpen. The guys did a great job -- [Cabrera] hit a home run, big deal. I'm not worried about that. Cishek was throwing the ball good. We had too many missed opportunities offensively."
Maddon hasn't been able to give Baez a breather as the infielder subs at shortstop for injured Addison Russell, who also could be activated on Saturday. With one out in the fifth, Baez looked strong when he launched an 85.6-mph slider from Phillies starter Nick Pivetta a Statcast™-projected 417 feet to left-center to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The homer raised his National League-leading RBI total to 98.
"I'm just trying to keep my approach the same way," Baez said. "Hopefully [30 home runs and 100 RBIs] happens, and if it does, I'm happy for me and what I've done and obviously for the team."
Baez is a legitimate NL MVP candidate, and Maddon knows how much fun it is to watch the infielder.
"He plays the game with a joy," Maddon said Friday. "He plays the game as though he was 12, 16 years of age, and I love that about him, but his mind plays at a much more mature level. He understands the game as well as anybody who is playing it now. He sees things in real time that people don't. He's good but he's going to get better as he continues to learn the strike zone. Defensively, baserunning, he's at the highest level of his game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Missed opportunity: The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the third against Pivetta but the right-hander escaped. Pivetta struck out Anthony Rizzo on four pitches and got Benjamin Zobrist to ground out to end the inning and the threat. In the eighth, the Cubs again loaded the bases but Seranthony Dominguez struck out pinch-hitter Victor Caratini to end the inning.
"He's just trying to do too much," Maddon said of Rizzo. "He was going for all four points. He'll normally accept his walk there. He just got too big right there."
Agree to disagree: Home-plate umpire Joe West said something to Baez after calling the Cubs' infielder out on strikes in the first inning. Baez didn't like the call, but he didn't argue that.
"We do our best to stay in the game, obviously," Baez said. "I didn't think it was a good pitch, and it wasn't. We're human. We struggle a lot in this sport. But we admit it to ourselves. There's nothing wrong with asking or talking to the umpires. They need to start talking to us like humans because they're not. If anybody doesn't talk to me with respect, I won't talk to them with respect either. I didn't say anything to him and he came to me like I said something wrong. When somebody does that, I can't control my attitude. We're human, too."
Baez said West didn't say anything to him the rest of the game.
"Obviously I didn't want to talk to him," Baez said. "It doesn't matter. I know when I'm right. We made the adjustment. It's over with."
• Pinch-hitter Thomas La Stella singled to lead off the Cubs' seventh for his 21st hit off the bench this season, a franchise record. La Stella, who hit a two-run pinch-hit homer on Thursday, passed the single-season record of 20 shared by Dave Clark (1997) and Thad Bosley (1985).
• Quintana began the night 4-for-91 in his career at the plate and collected two singles for the first multi-hit game of his career. He singled to lead off the third, the first hit off Pivetta, and then singled with two outs and a runner on in the fourth.
HE SAID IT
"We feel really good. We're trying to fight every game. We're in a good position now. We come to the ballpark every day and try to do our best. … It's the last month. At this point, everything is different. Winning games is so hard." -- Quintana, on the Cubs
Kyle Hendricks (10-10, 3.86 ERA) will start Saturday in the second game of this series against the Phillies, who counter with Zach Eflin (9-5, 3.99). Hendricks held the Reds to two hits over seven innings to pick up his 10th win in his last outing. He will hate to turn the calendar. The right-hander is 15-3 all time in August. He lost to the Phillies at Wrigley Field on June 5, giving up five runs over five innings. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT from Citizens Bank Park.