Once again, the Cubs fell behind early. Once again, the outcome was not affected. The Phillies came out and scored two runs with two outs in the top of the first inning and all of the sudden the game had that ‘here we go again’ feeling.
Arrieta, who has yet to get into a groove this year, pitched well tonight for the Cubs. The Phillies were able to find a few holes in the defense and scattered six hits off Jake. But he had solid control and was nibbling the strike zone all night, inducing some ugly swings at times. Ben Zobrist had a couple tough plays he couldn’t make in the first inning, otherwise Arrieta was as good as he’s been all year.
It was Jake Arrieta that also drove in the Cubs first run, scoring Jason Heyward, in the second inning on a swinging bunt. After that, the Cubs bumped along until they finally broke through against Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff in the sixth inning. They scored four runs, all with two outs.
Jason Heyward singled to drive in Ben Zobrist, who had singled earlier in the inning. Willson Contreras then came in to pinch hit for Miguel Montero and, with Anthony Rizzo on third base and Heyward on second, lined a golf-shot double to left scoring both runners. Matt Szczur then came on to pinch hit for Jake Arrieta. He hit a sharp grounder that Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis had a tough time handling and Willson Contreras, with some great baserunning, was able to score all the way from second on the perfectly timed swim slide.
Meanwhile, the bullpen came out and had yet another solid outing tonight. Sure, Hector Rondon broke his eight inning scoreless streak by giving up a double and a single to allow a run, but it was after getting two relatively easy outs and then he struck out Odubel Herrera to end the inning. Wade Davis walked a batter and threw a wild pitch to make things a little more exciting, but he closed the game out without surrendering a run. He has yet to give up a run as a Cub.
The Cubs just keep winning games, even if it means they have to come back to do it. It’s a great trait to have, just not one you want to lean too heavily on.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs have now won 15 games this season, with eight of those coming via the comeback.
- The Cubs were 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and all three of those hits came with two outs in the crucial sixth inning.
- Willson Contreras came in as a pinch hitter, drove in two runs and scored a third himself. Highly efficient outing for the rising young star.
The Bottom Line
After an ugly loss in the series opener, the Cubs are poised to take three games out of four from the Phillies, if they can win tomorrow afternoon. It’d be a perfect way to start the homestand after a solid 5-4 road trip.
John Lackey will take the hill for the Cubs, while rookie Zach Eflin will start for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 CST, and the game will be broadcast on WGN.