The Cubs faced immediate adversity on Saturday, losing their starting pitcher to injury after just two batters. Amazingly, Chicago was able to overcome that and shut down a terrific Red Sox lineup to win the series.
Alec Mills got the start but experienced back tightness after giving up a 1st inning double to Rafael Devers. Mark Leiter Jr.came on in relief and was terrific for 5+ innings holding Boston to just one run.
The Cubs took the lead thanks to some sloppy Red Sox defense in the 2nd inning. Patrick Wisdom reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a Devers throwing error. Nico Hoerner then bunted and pitcher Josh Winckowski threw it into the Boston dugout to score Wisdom. Hoerner would score on a sacrifice fly from Narciso Crook for a 2-0 edge.
Devers hit into a double play in the 6th that scored a runner from third base to cut Chicago’s lead in half. Wisdom gave the Cubs a key insurance run with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 8th.
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs bullpen was unbelievable on Saturday giving up just a single run in 8.2 innings of work. That allowed Chicago to win with just three runs on offense.
Eye on the Future
- Christopher Morel singled but could not extend his home run streak to four.
- Nelson Velázquez stole second base in the 8th inning as a pinch-runner to set up the insurance tally.
- Hoerner created two infield hits with his speed.
Stats That Matter
- Leiter was great in what was basically a start: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- Wisdom had two hits and was the driving force behind the Cubs meager offense Saturday.
Chicago has now won four consecutive games for the first time this season. This feels like a little bit of that early season bad luck starting to even out. Quality performances from bullpen pieces like Robertson and Mychal Givens should help bring back quality prospects in trades.
The Cubs go for a sweep Sunday at 1:20pm CT. Keegan Thompson takes on a yet to be named Boston starter in a game available on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.