Cubs Record: 52-33 (1st in NL Central)
W: Dario Alvarez (3-1)
L: Spencer Patton (1-1)
SV: Mauricio Cabrera (2)
The Cubs played the Braves last night at Wrigley and boy, it was a wet one! The game, being made up from a rainout earlier in the season, was delayed by almost two hours due to rain.
Jason Hammel was on the mound for the Cubs and quickly found himself in a two-run deficit when Nick Markakis homered to the right field bleachers. That concluded the scoring until the bottom of the 8th inning, when the Cubs put up a three spot.
With two outs in the inning, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo both got hit by a pitch. Next up was Ben Zobrist, who ripped a double down the right field line to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Now with two men on and two outs, Willson Contreras checked into the batter’s box. On the second pitch of his at-bat, Contreras drilled a triple to center field putting the Cubs up 3-2.
On to the 9th inning and Hector Rondon trying to save the game for the Northsiders. Unfortunately, he gave up a leadoff home run to Nick Markakis and the ballgame was tied at 3-3. The score stayed that way until the 11th inning, when the Braves got it going.
Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a walk. That was followed by a strikeout of Nick Markakis, which was a relief as he had homered two times in the game already. Coming into the game, Markakis only had two home runs on the season. Baseball is a weird sport.
With two outs and two men on, Tyler Flowers hit a single up the middle to score Freeman and put the Braves up 4-3.
The Cubs started the bottom of the inning off on a very positive note, as back-to-back singles by Conteras and Jason Heyward made for a two men on with nobody out situation. Addison Russell was up next and he grounded into a double play. It’s safe to say that the twin killing really shifted the momentum away from the Cubs. Jeimer Candelario flew out to end the game and the Cubs lost 4-3.
It’s no secret that the team has been struggling. Between the starting pitching, bullpen, and lack of offense, the Cubs have lost seven out of their last eight games and still have no days off until the All-Star Break. As a fan, this stretch has undoubtedly been frustrating. The Cubs have been the best team in the National League almost the entire season. These recent stumbles, however, mean the Giants have claimed that crown.
Willson Contreras made Wrigley erupt with his two-run triple in the bottom of the 8th inning. His hit put the Cubs up 3-2 in a game where the offense was fairly quiet. Contreras also had a leadoff single in the top of the 9th inning where the Cubs seemed to have a promising chance score before a double play killed the momentum.
The Cubs were just three outs away from winning a 3-2 ballgame but that fell apart quickly as Hector Rondon game up a game tying home run in the 9th. Spencer Patton was on the mound for the Cubs in the 11th inning and gave up a game-winning single to Tyler Flowers.
With one out and a man at first in the top of the 9th, Jeff Francoeur had some words to say when he felt Hector Rondon was trying to hit him with a pitch on an inside fastball. Francoeur must have said something Cubs catcher Willson Contreras didn’t like, as Contreras got face to face with the Braves left fielder. Benches cleared but no punches were thrown and nobody was ejected. Warnings were issued, however, to both sides and the game continued. When warnings are issued in a game, the manager and pitcher will be automatically ejected if a ball is deemed to intentionally be thrown at a player. After the game, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that he didn’t believe the Braves tried to intentionally hit his players during the game.
The Cubs start a three game set in Pittsburgh tonight at 6:05 pm CT. Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs, who will try to get back to their winning ways in Pennsylvania before taking a few days off and then returning home for three games against the Texas Rangers and three more against the New York Mets.