Whew! The Cubs eeked a nail-biter against the Giants at Wrigley. The offense flexed its muscle and Kyle Hendricks schooled the Giants in a 5-4 victory. The Professor kept the Giants offense relatively under control, giving up only two runs on five hits over seven innings. Despite some shaky bullpen work, a key insurance run by Jason Heyward in the 8th was just enough for the win.
The Giants struck first in the top of the 2nd inning, when Brandon Crawford and Eduardo Nunez had back-to-back hits to put men on the corners with no outs. Christian Arroyo came up next and grounded out, allowing the man on third to score and gave the Giants an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Anthony Rizzo decided that he wouldn’t let the Giants hold the lead, so he drilled a solo shot to right. At the end of two innings, the game was tied at one.
The Giants got that run right back in their half of the 3rd when Denard Span deposited a ball in the bleachers for a leadoff solo shot to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, Anthony Rizzo hit his second bomb of the game, his 11th of the year, to tie the game once again.
Hendricks set the Giants down in order in the top of the 5th, after which the Cubs made a little bit of noise. Singles by Addison Russell and Miguel Montero put men on the corners with nobody out. Hendricks then struck out on three pitches to bring up leadoff man Javier Baez, who brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Cubs tacked on a run in the bottom of the 7th on a throwing error by Giants reliever George Kontos. That put the Cubs up 4-2.
The Giants had their best scoring chance in the 8th, when Koji Uehara came into the game and gave up a leadoff single to Michael Morse. Two outs later, Uehara walked Brandon Belt and Joe Maddon decided to yank him in favor of Carl Edwards Jr. The next batter was Buster Posey, who walked on four pitches to load the bases for the powerful Brandon Crawford.
With a whole lot of talent, and maybe just a little bit of luck, Edwards was able to get Crawford to hit a ball back to the mound, ending the inning. The score was 4-2 in favor of the Cubs as the game headed to the bottom of the 8th.
That inning got off to a fiery start for the Cubs as Jason Heyward ripped his second triple of the year. Next up was Addison Russell, who walked to bring up Jon Jay. The pinch hitter flew out to the warning track and Heyward tagged and scored, increasing the Cubs’ cushion to three runs.
Wade Davis came in to close it in the 9th, but it wasn’t pretty or easy. The Giants decided to make it interesting when Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer to make it a 5-4 ballgame. The homer signified the only two earned runs the Cubs closer has given up this season. He was eventually able to strike out Joe Panik on a borderline pitch to stay perfect in save opportunities with number 10 tonight.
Stats That Matter
- Anthony Rizzo had one of his best games of the season as he went 3-for-3 with two homers, a single, and a walk. This was his 14th career multi-homer game.
- Jon Jay is 8-for-16 as a pinch hitter this season. He drove in Jason Heyward for a key insurance run.
For the second game in a row, the Cubs’ starting pitcher went deep into the game and got just the right amount of offense, especially from the longball, to win it.
Former Cub Jeff Samardzija takes on Eddie Butler in the finale. Cubs look to win the series at 1:20 CT on ABC-7 in Chicago and MLB Network for those watching across the country.