It look like the Cubs were heading for another frustrating loss to end the first half Sunday afternoon, but then they made a late push against the Yankees’ normally stout bullpen and were able to take home a series win.
Old friend Anthony Rizzo put New York ahead with an RBI double off of his former teammate Kyle Hendricks in the bottom of the 1st inning. Chicago hitters could get nothing going against New York starter Domingo Germán, who kept them hitless through four frames.
Seiya Suzuki got the Cubs’ first hit in style with a solo home run to left field that tied the game in the top of the 5th. Hendricks was rolling along until he allowed back-to-back homers to Anthony Volpe and Kyle Higashioka that gave the Yankees a 4-1 advantage in the 6th inning.
Germán got the hook after walking Ian Happ to begin the 7th inning, then a single followed by an error loaded the bases for Jared Young. The first baseman brought home a run with a groundout to first, then pinch-hitter Yan Gomes punched a two-run single to center off reliever Tommy Kahnle to even the score at four.
Ron Marinaccio walked the bases loaded in the 8th inning and Suzuki put the North Siders ahead with a sacrifice fly against Clay Holmes. The reliever then uncorked a wild pitch to bring in another run and the road team led 6-4 when the skies opened up to force a 20-minute rain delay.
When play resumed, the Cubs added to their lead with a run-scoring double by Tucker Barnhart in the 9th. Adbert Alzolay retired the Yankees in order in the bottom of the frame to save the 7-4 victory. (Box score)
Gleyber Torres‘s error in the 7th opened the door for Chicago and they were able to kick it in. That isn’t something they’ve done a lot this season, so it was nice to see.
Why the Cubs Won
They took advantage of late opportunities against a sloppy opponent and the bullpen kept New York in check.
Stats That Matter
- It was a nice game for Hendricks, who gave up mostly weak singles until the final two batters: 5.2 IP, 4 R, 10 H, 5 K, and 2 BB.
- Gomes continues to get big hits with his second game-tying hit in the last four.
- Suzuki is starting to heat up, which is nice to see.
This was a great way to end the first half of the season for the Cubs. Rather than folding after falling behind three runs in the 6th inning, they fought back and won a series in a park they’d never won in prior to Friday. Maybe this can be a launching pad for a big second-half surge.
The Cubs are off until Friday, but you can watch Justin Steele represent them in the All-Star game Tuesday at 7:05pm CT on FOX.