If nothing else, the Chicago Cubs have been making victories extremely interesting the last three games. Although, they could have dispensed with the excitement tonight if Jeremy Jeffress would have locked things down in the top of the 9th inning. But he didn’t, giving up two runs while squandering a two-run lead.
Yu Darvish gave that one back plus another in the top of the 3rd when Delino DeShields and Francisco Lindor plated runs for the Indians. The pair were responsible for the third Cleveland run as well when Lindor knocked in DeShields on a single in the 5th to make the game 3-1.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Cubs bats delivered. Ian Happ doubled with one out and was promptly driven in on a single by Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo doubled to score Bryant and even up the ballgame at three runs each.
Bryant scored another run in the bottom of the 7th after drawing a walk, this time it was a Willson Contreras sacrifice fly that made it 4-3 Cubs.
In the bottom of the 8th, El Mago took things into his own hands. He reached after being hit by a pitch and attempted to steal second, but an errant throw from Indians catcher Roberto Perez allowed Báez to continue running. He continued all the way home, being waved on by Cubs third base coach Will Venable. That run put the Cubs up 5-3.
In the bottom of the 9th, Bryant walked with one out. Rizzo followed with a single to set things up nicely for the Willson Contreras. Cleveland reliever Nick Wittgren hit Contreras to load the bases. On the very next pitch, Wittgren pegged Cameron Maybin to score the Cubs walk off win. (Box Score)
Kris Bryant has been struggling but he stayed patient and took two big walks, including the walk that ended up leading to the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th. His elite base-running skills made a huge difference in this game.
Why the Cubs Won
Darvish didn’t have his “A” game, but he managed to work out of early jams, getting deep into the ball game. The Cubs offense provided just enough support to get the job done.
Stats that Matter
- Darvish with yet another quality start: 7 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 7 K, 1 BB
- The top four in the lineup for the Cubs tonight were 8-for-15 with four runs and three RBI.
- Báez hit a baseball 450 ft into the stratosphere tonight. Launch Angle 30 degrees. Exit Velocity 109 mph.
The Cubs have won three straight games at just the right time and now own a five game lead over the Cardinals.
The Cubs complete their season series with the Indians tomorrow as Big Jon Lester gets the ball for the Cubs. He’ll face Aaron Civale for the Indians at 7:15 CT. The game will be on both Marquee and 670 The Score.