Friday’s Cubs victory over the Detroit Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak begun with the defeat in Sunday’s series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trevor Williams took the mound for the Northsiders on Saturday afternoon looking to clinch a series win over Detroit. The game ended up being a high-scoring grind with neither starting pitcher going deeper than the 3rd inning. A total of 14 pitchers would appear in a game that went to extra innings.
Matt Duffy proved his clutch hitter bona fides with three go-ahead hits, including a three-run Duffbomb in the 5th inning. However, the Cubs were never able to hang on to the lead and were ultimately walked off in the 10th inning. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
After the Cubs gained leads, the Northsiders’ pitchers consistently worked into jams. This gave the home team opportunities to come storming back and regain the lead or tie the game. With a precarious one-run lead heading into the 10th inning, Rob Manfred’s ghost runner ended up haunting the Cubs. The Tigers’ good use of situational hitting and substitutions allowed them to take a walk-off victory.
After the Tigers’ three-run rally in the 4th inning gave them a 6-4 lead, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo singled against Alex Lange in the 5th inning. This would bring Duffy, who already had an RBI double to his credit, to the plate to face Lange. He clubbed Lange’s slider over the left field fence to give the Cubs a 7-6 advantage.
Duffy’s fifth RBI of the game, a one-out single in the 10th inning, gave the visitors a 8-7 advantage in the 10th inning. This prompted Cubs manager David Ross to call upon Craig Kimbrel to finish the game. Miguel Cabrera‘s flyout to center field advanced ghost runner Niko Goodrum to third base, representing the tying run. Goodrum would then score on Nomar Mazara‘s single. Tigers manager AJ Hinch opted to replace Mazara with pinch runner JaCoby Jones, who stole second and came home when Harold Castro lined a 98 mph heater into left field.
Stats that Matter
- Duffy’s three hits all provided go-ahead runs. He drove in five of the Cubs’ eight runs.
- Keegan Thompson was the only Cubs pitcher to work a 1-2-3 inning; he notched two scoreless innings and struck out five Detroit batters.
- Kimbrel’s blown save was his second of the 2021 season.
- The Tigers had good production from the bottom of the order. No. 8 hitter Willi Castro was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and their No. 9 hitter, rookie Akil Baddoo, went 2-for-3 with two walks and one run scored.
The Cubs have not won back-to-back contests since May 7 and 8 against the Pirates at Wrigley. They will attempt to take the series in Sunday’s rubber match, which would be their first series victory since last weekend.
How to Watch
Gametime is 12:10pm CT at Comerica Park in Detroit. Listen on 670 The Score or watch on Marquee Sports Network.