In a dramatic and high energy ninth inning, the Chicago Cubs (59-39) rallied from two runs down to tie the game off on RBI single by Dexter Fowler to drive in Javier Baez – who opened the inning with a lead-off double – and an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo to drive in Fowler.
The White Sox would counter in the bottom of the ninth inning. With newly acquired Mike Montgomery pitching, J.B. Shuck opened the inning with a lead-off single. After a sacrifice bunt moved Shuck to second base, the White Sox’ Tyler Saladino hit an 0-2 pitch up the middle past an outreached Javy Baez and into center field. It looked like Matt Szczur – who entered the game in the top of the ninth inning as a pinch-runner for Anthony Rizzo (and yes, I’m still trying to figure that one out) – would have a play on the ball but as he charged the ball bounced past his glove allowing Shuck to score the winning run.
The White Sox beat the Cubs 5-4 in walk off fashion (Box Score).
Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.76 ERA) was solid for the most of the game. The White Sox scored one run in the third inning off an Adam Eaton single to drive in Saladino, who’d reached second base on a one-out double. That was the only time in the game that the White Sox could manage to get a runner in scoring position and it stayed that way until the sixth inning.
It was the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Cubs down 1-0 and runners on first and second, when Arrieta made a pitch that he’d likely want a do-over on. It was a 0-1 pitch to Todd Frazier that was smack in the middle of the plate at 88 MPH, an easy ball for a hitter like Frazier to crank, and crank he did. Frazier sent the ball soaring over the center field wall, putting the Cubs down 4-0.
The following inning Javy Baez would come to bat and he responded to Frazier’s home run in-kind, hitting a two-run line-drive laser over the left field wall. That would cut the lead in half and set the stage for the ninth inning dramatics, where the Cubs would eventually fall short.
Stats that mattered
- Jake was wicked until he lost control in the sixth inning – 6.0IP, 4R, 5H, 2BB, 6Ks, 1HR
- Justin Grimm looked encouragingly good too – 1.1IP, 0R, 1H, 2Ks
- Mike Montgomery has struggled in his first 2 appearances since joining the Cubs – .1IP, 1R, 2H
- Miguel Montero had a good game at the plate – 2-for-4, 1R, 2B
- Javier Baez was outstanding – 3-for-4, 2R, 2RBIs, SB, HR
The Cubs late rally made what started out as a ho-hum game into a nail-bitter. The Cubs had ample scoring opportunities – they were 4-for-10 with RISP and left 11 men on-base – but they made a few base-running mistakes that cost them. Kris Bryant overran first base in the third inning, leading to Javy Baez getting thrown out at home as he wisely attempted to advance on the play with two outs.
In the top of the ninth, with no outs, Kris Bryant, again, tried to advance to second base on a single and was thrown out. That was a critical mistake as the Cubs were in the middle of a rally and he likely would’ve ended up scoring after a single by Rizzo and then a single by Contreras. It’s tough when you make base-running mistakes in a close game.
The Cubs play the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday at 6:10 PM CDT on CSN. Kyle Hendricks (9-6, 2.27 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs.