In a game that had more runners than the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants 8-3 at Wrigley to take the rubber game, and win the series.
No word other than UGLY could describe the first inning Tyler Chatwood had. He threw 33 pitches, only 16 of which were in the strike zone. Tyler couldn't find the zone, but the Giants found a way to score some runs. Chatwood walked Andrew McCutchen with one out in the inning, but he was forced out at second on a Brandon Belt grounder. The Giants had a man on first base with two outs and Evan Longoria at the plate. Chatwood walked Longoria to make way for three consecutive singles, one by each Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Mac Williamson respectively. That drove home three runs, and the Giants, and their starter Ty Blach were in good shape after their half of the 1st inning.
That didn't last long at all as the Cubs got their bats swinging in the bottom of the 1st to tie it up. Albert Almora singled to lead off the inning. After Javier Baez grounded out, Kris Bryant smacked a double to center, bringing home the Cubs' first run. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single, scoring Bryant and putting the Cubs within one. One out later, Kyle Schwarber stepped up to the plate and singled, advancing Rizzo to third with two outs. The inning was in the hands of Addison Russell who did not disappoint - he singled to bring home Rizzo and tie the ball game at three.
The second inning for Chatwood was also ugly, except with a different outcome. He started by walking the opposing pitcher, a big no-no in baseball as all of us know. Then a single by Gorkys Hernandez and yet another walk to Andrew McCutchen loaded the bases with nobody out for the dangerous Brandon Belt. By some miracle from the baseball heavens, Chatwood was able to strike out Belt and Longoria consecutively. He then got Brandon Crawford to swing at the first pitch for a liner that Kyle Schwarber caught to end the inning.
In the top of the 3rd, Chatwood retired the first two batters he faced. He then surrendered a single to Nick Hundley, walked the opposing pitcher Ty Blach again, and gave up a single to Gorkys Hernandez. Joe Maddon had seen enough, and elected to bring in Randy Rosario from the bullpen to face Andrew McCutchen with the bases loaded. Rosario came in and did his job by throwing only two pitches to Andrew McCutchen inducing a force out to end the inning, and keep the game tied.
It goes without saying, but Tyler Chatwood just didn't have it today when you look at his 2.2 IP, 6H, 3ER, 5BB, 3K appearance. The most alarming thing from his performance today was the five walks he issued, because walks are an ongoing issue. In his 48.1 IP, Chatwood has walked 45 batters, and struck out only 44. He has also issued five or more walks in seven of his ten starts this season. Two of those walks came to the opposing pitcher. When factoring in the two walks to Ty Blach, the Cubs have walked the opposing pitcher six times this season - most in MLB.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Cubs squandered one of their best scoring chances of the night. The inning led off with three consecutive walks - one each to Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Willson Contreras, and things looked promising. Unfortunately, both Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell struck out on three pitches, and Ty Blach and the Giants were almost out of hot water. Jason Heyward came up and flew out for the third out, and the Cubs walked away empty-handed.
Luckily, the Cubs got another opportunity in the 4th inning which they took great advantage of. Randy Rosario was pitching well so Maddon allowed him to take his first career plate appearance in which he drew a walk! He then hustled to third on a double by Albert Almora, before coming home on a three-run home run by Javier Baez, putting the Cubs up 6-3.
With that three-run bomb, Javier Baez is the first Cubs player with 40+ RBI before Memorial Day since Derek Lee did it back in 2005.
The Cubs scored two more times in the bottom of the 5th to pad their lead. With two outs in the inning, Jason Heyward tripled, and scored on a single by Tommy La Stella. Next up was Albert Almora who doubled to score La Stella and put the Cubs up 8-3.
Overall, the Cubs put together a good game thanks to some great offense. One thing about the game that was bad, however, was that the Cubs committed three errors. Although, those errors didn't do any damage, sloppy defense is never a good thing. Prior to tonight's game, the Cubs had gone six-straight games without a fielding error, their longest errorless streak since a six-game stretch, September 20-25 of last season. The Cubs also left 22 men on base tonight. Although they got all the run they needed for the win, 22 LOB isn't something you want to see.
The Cubs embark upon a seven-game road trip tomorrow - three against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and four against the New York Mets. The Cubs will send Mike Montgomery to the mound tomorrow for an injured Yu Darvish, and he will be opposed by Chad Kuhl. The Memorial Day Matinee will begin at 12:35 p.m. CT on ABC. Here's to hoping for a road trip in which we sweep the Pirates to gain some ground in the division!
Filed under: Uncategorized