Talk about a pitcher's duel! The Cubs and Braves, the two teams with the highest two run differentials in the National League, played tonight at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, and the pitchers would not budge...until the final two innings of the game. The Cubs earned themselves a 3-2 victory after playing the "screw the closer."
Yu Darvish made his first start back from the disabled list, and although it was a short start, he pitched well. Over four innings, he surrendered only one run on three hits while striking out five. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz gave up only one run on three hits, while striking out ten over five innings.
For the next five innings, the Cubs bullpen took over. Between Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Brandon Morrow, the Braves got only one run on two hits. That run came in the 8th on a solo shot by Ronald Acuna Jr. off of Carl Edwards Jr. As for the Braves bullpen, they shut the Cubs down until their closer Arodys Vizcaino entered. The Cubs were trailing 2-1 in the top of the ninth, but scored two runs for a come-from-behind victory. With one out in the inning, back-to-back sharp doubles by Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell tied the game at two. Russell advanced to third after a ground out by Tommy La Stella. Next up was Ben Zobrist, who lined a single to center putting the Cubs up 3-2.
That opened up the opportunity for Brandon Morrow to close the door and secure his 10th save. He pitched a flawless inning retiring Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, and Ender Inciarte respectively to save it for Carl Edwards, who despite giving up a go-ahead home run in the 8th, ended up being winning pitcher.
With this win, the Cubs won't have another five game streak! During a 15-game stretch from April 26-May 12, the Cubs recorded a five-game winning streak, followed by a five-game losing streak, and then another five-game winning streak. In their last five games, including tonight's game, the Cubs have gone W-W-L-L-W.
The Cubs win would not have been possible without some STELLAR defense by Willson Contreras who contributed to two amazing plays in the 5th inning. One of them came when a wild pitch from Mike Montgomery ended up behind Contreras. He tackled that ball and tossed it over to Montgomery who was covering the plate and applied the tag to save a run. Also in that inning, Contreras threw out Charlie Culberson who was trying to steal third base. Without those plays, it's quite possible that the game would not have only required two late runs to win.
The same two teams will face off tomorrow night. The Cubs will send Tyler Chatwoood to the mound, and he will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy at 6:35 CT on WGN.
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