The Cubs met the Giants in the rubber-match of their three-game series on Sunday night. After a bizarre first three innings, the game settled down and Chicago was able to win a battle of bullpens. The 1st inning featured five infield hits, two walks, an error and six runs. When the smoke cleared, the score was knotted at 3-3.
Tyler Chatwood had no control again, loading the bases in the 2nd and 3rd innings. Randy Rosario came on in relief to escape the jam in the 3rd inning. As it turned out, Rosario played a role in the Cubs winning rally as he walked and moved to third on a Albert Almora double, which was it for Giants starter Ty Blach. Former Cub Pierce Johnson came on and was greeted rudely by a three-run opposite field bomb by Javy Baez.
The Cubs increased their lead to 8-3 with RBI hits from Tommy La Stella and Almora. The Northsiders bullpen handled it from there, keeping the Giants bats quiet the rest of the night. Chicago was able to close out the 8-3 win relatively stress-free. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The offensive explosion and the stout pen bailed out Tyler Chatwood, who put up another clunker.
Javy had taken an ugly swing at the 1-0 pitch in his 4th inning at bat. Pierce Johnson tried the same pitch once more, a fastball on the outside corner. The second time, Baez hit it where it was pitched and with his strength it was well up in the right field stands.
Stats That Matter
- It was ugly again for Chatwood: 2.2 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 K, and 5 BB. He walked the pitcher twice and needed 88 pitches, only 46 of which were strikes, to get that far.
- Randy Rosario was huge, going two plus innings and keeping the Giants off the board while the Cubs took the lead.
- Albert Almora had three hits including two doubles and also made another great running catch. It’s getting harder and harder not to play him every game.
- Javy Baez had a single to go with his long home run. Baez has the most RBI’s (42) through Memorial Day for a Cubs hitter since Derek Lee in 2005.
The Cubs showed a lot of resiliency rallying back from an early 3-0 deficit. The Chatwood situation is not getting better, and if his lack of control continues he may lose his spot in the rotation. Not sure if it’s a mechanical or a mental thing, but something has to change.
The Cubs start a three-game series with the Pirates Monday in Pittsburgh. The Memorial Day matinee begins at 12:35 pm CT and features a pitching matchup between Mike Montgomery and Chad Kuhl, the broadcast is available on ABC-7.