CI Recap (9/6/18) – Cubs 6, Nationals 4 F/10: Bote Sinks Nats In Extras
After a tension-filled win in Milwaukee on Wednesday the Cubs opted for more of the same in Washington Thursday. The Northsiders staged two separate rallies to tie the game before winning it in the 10th inning.
Once again, the Cubs drew first blood thanks to their MVP candidate Javy Baez. Javy reached on a two-out bloop single and then scored all the way from first on an Anthony Rizzo double to center. Ben Zobrist then clanged a single off the first base bag to make it 2-0 for the road team.
Kyle Hendricks breezed through the first three innings before hitting major issues in the 4th. Bryce Harper hit a grounder that a shifted Baez snared in right field, his throw to first went wide and he was charged with a tough error. Juan Soto followed with an RBI double before Mark Reynolds pounded a long homer to left to put DC up 3-2.
Chicago quickly tied the score in the top of the 5th inning. Daniel Murphy singled and Rizzo hit an infield single to third that Anthony Rendon made a throwing error on to allow both runners to advance. Zobrist drove in another run with a sac fly to center to tie the game.
The Nationals manufactured a run to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning. Spencer Kieboom, that’s his real name, singled and was bunted to second by Stephen Strasburg. Trea Turner singled past third base to knock in Kieboom.
Randy Rosario and Steve Cishek kept the score at 4-3 until the 8th. Justin Miller was the Cubs victim of choice in the 8th. Kris Bryant singled and moved to third on Albert Almora Jr. single, Albert advanced to second on the throw. Willson Contreras hit a grounder to short that scored Bryant but Almora got caught off second for an out.
In the bottom of the inning, Washington got runners to second and third with one-out against CJ Edwards, Justin Wilson took over and escaped the jam. The game headed to extras where the Northsiders would earn the win in the 10th.
Almora doubled and mortal Nationals enemy David Bote hit a double of his own to put the Cubs ahead. For good measure, Taylor Davis singled home Bote to up the lead to 6-4. Jesse Chavez allowed a hit and a walk before slamming the door on the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs were able to rally back from a couple of deficits to force the game to extras. At that point, it was just a matter of finding the weak-link the Nats pen.
After Soto doubled to put men on second and third with one down in the 8th, things looked grim for the Cubs. Justin Wilson looked like the guy the Chicago expected to get last year in keeping the game tied. Striking out the dangerous Reynolds with a man on third and one away was particularly huge.
Stats That Matter
- Things started so well for Hendricks but it was still a decent effort: 5 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 6 K, and 0 BB. It was another case of one bad inning for the Professor.
- Zobrist had another good game with two hits and two runs batted in.
- Almora has really struggled with the bat in the second half, so it was good to see him have some big hits.
Every win is big in September no matter how you get it. The victory also means the Cubs are guaranteed to have a winning record in their stretch of 23 games without a day off.
Game two of the series is on Friday night at 6:05 pm CT. Jon Lester takes on Joe Ross, who is making his season debut, in a game available on NBC Sports Chicago.