The Chicago Cubs (101-56) aren’t letting up. They just keep bringing the offense, pitching well and playing great defense – all areas they lead the league in – and they continue their dominance over the Pirates, winning tonight by the score of 6-4 (Box Score).
Perhaps the biggest hit of the night for the Cubs came in the top of the second inning. The bases were loaded with Cubs as Chris Coghlan pounded an 0-2 pitch that he was just waiting for, crushing the ball to deep right-center field where it missed being a grand slam by about two feet. That cleared the bases and Coghlan ended up at third.
Dexter Fowler then doubled in the top of the fourth inning to drive in Munenori Kawasaki. Fowler has been playing exceptionally well lately, reminiscent of how he started this season. In his last ten games prior to tonight, Fowler is slashing .325/.438/.550 including a 166wRC+. That’s best on the team over that time frame.
The Cubs added two more runs in the top of the ninth inning on a two-out dropped fly-ball by Gregory Polanco that scored Albert Almora and a Javy Baez single to score Miguel Montero.
John Lackey got into a couple jams tonight. Double plays by the Cubs’ defense got him out of trouble in both the second and the fourth innings. A strikeout got him out of trouble in the fifth inning. Joe Maddon pinch hit for Lackey in the top of the sixth inning.
Justin Grimm came on in the ninth inning and made this game much closer than it needed to be. He gave up three runs on three hit’s before Felix Pena came on to close things out. Justin has struggled his last few outings. He’s now given up 7 hits and 5 runs over his last three games in two innings of play.
Stats that matter
- Lackey was good when he needed to be and he got help from his defense – 5.0IP, 1R, 5H, 3BB, 3Ks, 93 pitches
- Justin Grimm had a rough night – 0.1IP, 3R, 3H, 2BB
- Dexter Fowler had it going (again!) – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB, 2B
- Albert Almora looked razor sharp – 2-for-2, 1R, 2B, 3B
- How ’bout Chris Coghlan‘s stellar night – 2-for-4, 3RBI, 1BB, 2B, SB
Well, the Cubs just keep on rolling. This is a story-book way to end the regular season and man, does it feel like we deserve story-book stuff. I mean, 101 wins, a player – Kris Bryant – who’s likely to win the MVP award, another player(s) who may well win the Cy Young Award, and watching David Ross roar into retirement. This is awesome.
The Cubs stick around Pittsburgh for a couple more days, much to the chagrin of the Pirates, I’m sure. They’ll play on Wednesday night at 6:05 PM CT and Jake Arrieta (18-7, 2.85 ERA) will toss the biscuit for the Cubs.