The Chicago Cubs (20-12) got back in the win column against the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-19), but it wasn’t easy. Madison Bumgarner held down the offense for nearly eight innings and it took a 9th-inning rally for the Cubs to come from behind and take a 5-3 victory, via MLB The Show 20.
Yu Darvish was on the mound versus Bumgarner, and early on the pitching matchup lived up to the hype. Darvish struck out five of the first six batters he faced while Bumgarner didn’t allow a hit until the fifth.
The D-Backs broke through in the 3rd, however, collecting four hits, all singles, to move ahead 2-0. In the next inning, first baseman Christian Walker hit a solo shot to center field to put the D-Backs ahead 3-0. It appeared as though three runs would be more than enough for Bumgarner, who was carving his way through the Cubs lineup.
Until the 8th inning, that is. With a runner on first base and two outs, Kris Bryant hit a line drive into the left-field seats to bring the Cubs to within 3-2. That ended Bumgarner’s day at 7 2/3 innings with two runs allowed on five hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. Darvish ended up with six innings under his belt, allowing those three runs on eight hits and three walks. He also had nine strikeouts.
The big rally came in the top of the 9th. With the Cubs still trailing by a run, Willson Contreras led off with a game-tying, solo home run to left field off of left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin. The southpaw was able to get two quick outs after the home run and it appeared as though the game would remain tied going to the bottom of the frame.
But next up was Steven Souza Jr., who has crushed left-handed pitching so far this season for the Cubs. Souza launched another homer to left field off Chafin, this time on an 0-2 curveball. On the very next pitch, Josh Phegley laid into one that just hit above the yellow line in center field, giving Chicago an insurance run.
Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single to Starling Marte in the bottom of the 9th, setting up some drama. But the Cubs closer struck out Nick Ahmed for out number one, he got Ketel Marte to fly out to center field, and he struck out David Peralta to end the game.
Notes: Phegley’s home run is his first in a Cubs uniform. He has come around a bit after a slow start at the plate, justifying his spot on the roster to those who questioned David Ross opting to carry three catchers … Jeremy Jeffress pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Cubs, lowering his ERA to 5.83 for the year … Willson Contreras started in left field with Phegley behind the plate. It’s the third time Ross has used that alignment against a left-handed starter.
Bryant – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Souza – 2-for-4, HR, RBI
Phegley – 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI
Contreras – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Ahmed – 2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI
Walker – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
S. Marte – 2-for-5, R, SB
Bumgarner – 7 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 9 K
Winning Pitcher – Jeffress (1-1)
Losing Pitcher – Chafin (0-1)
Save – Kimbrel (13)
Home Runs – Bryant (11), Contreras (6), Souza (2), Phegley (1), Walker (7)