Wow! That game was so darn fun and exciting. The Chicago Cubs (66-41), down two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, staged a dramatic comeback by scoring three runs to sweep the Miami Marlins (57-51).
It all started when Marlins Reliever A.J. Ramos issued a walk to Matt Szczur to load the bases with no outs. The walk came on the heels of a lead-off double by Miguel Montero followed by a single from Javier Baez. Dexter Fowler hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to one run, advancing Baez to third base and Szczur to second.
After Kris Bryant was called out on a questionable called third strike, the Marlins issued an intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo. Ramos couldn’t find the zone against Ben Zobrist and ended up walking him to score the game-tying run.
With Willson Contreras batting, Ramos uncorked a wild pitch that scored Matt Szczur for the game winning run.
The Cubs rally in the ninth and complete the sweep by the score of 5-4 (Box Score).
John Lackey (8-7, 3.7 ERA) has given up a run in the first inning of each of his last three starts, not a statistic that normally leads to a lot of wins if you’re a starting pitcher. He settled in nicely after that, at least until the 7th inning. That’s when he made his biggest mistake that led to a Jeff Mathis two-run home run, giving the Marlins a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning.
In the eighth inning, the Cubs countered a Marlins home run – hit off their newest addition, RHP Joe Smith – when Fernando Rodney threw a wild pitch scoring Dexter Fowler from third base. That made the score 4-2 and set the stage for the Cubs’ ninth inning three-run rally.
Stats that mattered
- Lackey was good except for the one mistake to Mathis -7.0IP, 3R, 7H, 8Ks, 1HR and 2 doubles
- Four – that’s the number of both walks and hits the Cubs managed after the 7th inning, leading to the win
The Cubs just completed their first series sweep since sweeping the Cincinnati Reds at the end of June (if you’re wondering, I consider the away and home games against the White Sox as one series). They’ve now won 13 of 19 games since the All-Star break and are playing with confidence and poise.
In his postgame interview today, Joe Maddon started things off by saying, “A big part of that rally was just our fans and I want to recognize that from the beginning.” Quite a compliment and a nice touch by Joe to give credit to all the fans that were cheering on the rally. I know I was jumping around and yelling at my TV, and I’m sure most Cubs fans that were watching were doing the same.
The Cubs have the day off on Thursday and will travel to Oakland on Friday to take on the Athletics in a three-game series that starts at 9:05 PM CDT. Jon Lester (11-4, 2.95 ERA) will be on the mound for the Cubs on Friday.