Dodging a Doubleheader Sweep - Cubs 2, Dodgers 1 (F/10)

Doubleheaders are exhausting, especially when you're playing a red hot team in extra innings! After losing game one by giving up two runs in the 9th inning, the Cubs fought hard and won it 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning of game two.

Mike Montgomery took the mound for the Cubs, and he was impressive, as per usual. He pitched six strong innings giving up only one run on five hits. That run came in the top of the 6th inning where Austin Barnes singled scoring Cody Bellinger. Montgomery giving up just one run was impressive, especially considering the jam he found himself in during the 2nd inning. He issued back-to-back walks to Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger to lead off the frame. Logan Forsythe was next, and he singled to load the bases with nobody out. Montgomery was able to gather himself and strike out Austin Barnes and Rich Hill consecutively. The last out of that inning came on a fly out by Chris Taylor. Montgomery has done nothing short of amazing work as a starter this season. In all five of his starts this season, he has gone six innings, giving up only one run. He is the ONLY pitcher in Cubs history  with five plus innings and one or fewer runs allowed in their first five starts. Talk about impressive!


Source: FanGraphs

Dodgers starter Rich Hill did much of the same. He kept the Cubs scoreless over six innings, giving up three scattered hits. The Cubs knew that they only way they'd get this win was by getting to the bullpen, and they did just that. After Dodgers reliever Erik Goeddel took over in the 7th, Kyle Schwarber took him deep for his 13th home run of the season, tying the game at one.

It wouldn't be a Cubs extra-inning game without added drama, so naturally the Dodgers were able to load the bases in the top of the 10th inning. Justin Hancock was pitching for the Cubs and he walked Justin Turner on four pitches to lead off the inning. He then retired both Max Muncy and Yasiel Puig, and the Cubs were just one out away from a sigh of relief. But, that didn't happen as Cody Bellinger singled, and Logan Forsythe walked to load the bases. Joe Maddon chose to bring in Rob Zastryzny to try and shut the thing down. Zastryzny faced just one batter, Yasmani Grandal and got him to fly out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Cubs wasted no time at all. Kris Bryant led off with a triple, and it was at that moment that I threw my hands up in victory saying "The Cubs are going to win." The Dodgers didn't want to take their chances with Javy because they knew Javy would crush a homer, so they intentionally walked him instead. With two men on and nobody out, Albert Almora stepped in and hit a walk-off single!

The Cubs really needed this win, especially after how this afternoon's game went. The Cubs will shut this series out tomorrow at 1:20 p.m. on WGN. Jon Lester will take the mound, and he will be opposed by Ross Stripling. The Cubs currently sit 0.5 games back of the Brewers. Let's hope that all changes tomorrow!

 

 

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  • Meatloaf them tomorrow! Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    ....ain’t bad ^^^^^^^^^^^^^5’s

  • Let's see, 4 runs over the past three games...is that the bottom of the roller coast and tomorrow begins a week of hitting and scoring runs? Or Lester has to pitch another 7 inning gem and hope for a couple runs.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Yes.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Cubs split one run games yesterday (8-13) and 5-4 in extra innings now 2-4 in walk off wins, though they are 10-22 in games which they scored 3 runs or less. Interestingly, Almora with another *clutch* hit in late innings.putting the ball in play. Montgomery is really pushing the buttons where **Crazy Ivan** Chapman just very hard to watch. More importantly Cubs are 11-6 in June, now 41-29 with 11 games remaining in June and 12 dates until their next off day.

  • How do you not consider Montgomery staying a starter? Just goes out for 6 and gives up one run. Should be 4-0 as a starter.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Start him or trade him. He's earned his stripes.

  • In reply to veteran:

    He is definitely in consideration but I also sure would have liked him in relief in game one for about 2-3 innings.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    This is the dilemma with Monty. He has been very good during this recent run, but is he more valuable in the relief role to this team? I’ve always maintained he is because of the versatility he provides in that role.

    Glad he is pitching well and making this a tough call for Joe. Who knows maybe his good pitching as a starter is what is needed as a trade piece if Theo goes there.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yes, Monty's been plenty good. His pitch count efficiency and improved command is telling me that he just may be a better SP than many folks realize. I sure would not want the Cubs to trade him at this point.
    He just might be the 'good and healthy' Rich Hill, without the back problems.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I worry about the lower K rates—under 6 — as a SP. Hill’s K rates have been 9.4 per 9 over his career, so they are not really similar.

    Monty has sure been good with a spike in his GB%. Maybe that is sustainable?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Tell you a fantasy dream. Yankees are looking for an affordable SP'er, trade him to Chapman when Darvish returns and just after a trade Monty to TB for Archer when he returns, like I said fantasy.

    More so Maddon says baseball solves these problems

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    But in theory, that is why there’s Duensing, Wilson & Rosario. Having Chatwood repeatedly just going 5 innings is catching up with them. Monty going 6 is huge.

  • Very nice to see KB drive one to the opposite field in the 10th. I seem to remember that while making his rise to the show the majority of his homers were to center or right center. So far in his MLB career his homers are basically all to left. I'm sure that it has a lot to do with how he was being pitched. If he can lock in that swing and start going to right, right center with pop that will be a very good thing for the cubs!

  • In reply to jefeggs2542:

    Russell has seemed to be trying to go oppo alot lately too

  • In reply to jefeggs2542:

    I totally agree with your comments on KB going more to RF. Problem is, that's hard to do when you try to 'perfect' that upper-cut, swing plane.
    I think some of these guys need to reevaluate what type of hitters they want to be, going forward.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think you're right.
    I found a clip of Maddon speaking about Kb's oppo power in 2016 and he mentioned the swing changes him and Mallee made that could be the cause. https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/kris-bryant-showing-weakness-to-opposite-field/c-196477430

  • I did the same thing when he hit that triple... especially when the ball kicked back towards the infield. That must have had some serious back spin or something to do that or it bounced off the corner just perfectly...

    When they won it, the house went nuts... even our dog got in on the celebration. He’s a howler when we whoop it up in the house.

  • Nice ending to a not-so-nice baseball day... Bryant drives in the tying and go-ahead runs in the first game, then starts a rally and scores the winning run in the second. Sure wish that guy could hit in the clutch!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Its always good when the best player on the team comes through in a big spot.

  • I truly believe that while it's only 1 game this night game may have been one of our biggest wins of the season. That 1st loss must have been one of the more sickening losses that this young group has ever taken and to get swept in the double header in a stretch where we're in the early stretches of 17 games in 17 days and we now have a depleted bullpen with no morrow, edwards, and a seemingly fatigued steve cishek who was running on fumes last night would've been awfully deflating against the short handed, banged up and underperforming roster that knocked us out of the playoffs.

    Great to see Bryant come up with that clutch triple and I've gotta say, it's hard to see how Rob Z was a 2nd round pick with that 88 mph Fastball but that kid has a gamer mentality and just seems to step it up whenever the team and the bullpen guys need him the most. Give him credit while he'll never be a home run pick he's doing better than most of his fellow 2nd round guys from his draft class. Huge game today though I think we're facing the dodgers at the right time and even though we were 1 strike away from winning the 1st game I'd be pretty happy to take 2/3 in a competitive series like this. Hopefully Morrow's absence is brief because I'm getting concerned about how short handed the bullpen is starting to get even though I think our AAA guys have done as well as can be expected of them. Theo may want to consider getting another reliever because it's always troubling when your injury prone closer is starting to show signs of breaking down and Edwards is always a durability concern with his skinny frame.

  • Can we talk about how dumb the decision was by LA to walk Javy to get to Almora??? Why wouldn't you accept the free strikeout that is Javy? Obviously even a double play out of Almora with Javy on first would've won the game, there was no outs! I need help to understand.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Only thing I can think of is after his perfect bunt earlier, they didn't think they could defend it if he did it again with Bryant on third. Me, you have to try and strike out Javy period.

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    In reply to DarBar15:

    I was thinking the same thing. Throw 4 dirt balls to Javy, if he walks, so be it. Odds are he doesn't as he prob wants to win the game and possibly gets himself in a bad count. Anyway then you walk Almora and Rizzo to load the bases and take your chances.

    The odds were against them anyway after a leadoff triple , but that doesn't mean you basically give up the game.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree that is what I would have done. I would have tried to get Baez out. Walking him didn't gain them anything. A DP getting him out would likely still end the game. They HAD to get 1 out BEFORE putting someone on base to try to set up a DP. If Almora grounds out to 2B and they try to turn a DP we would have been mystified. The "play" would be at home. Also, Almora is better at putting the bat on the ball and is "hotter" than Baez.

    If they had 1 out then walking Baez maybe makes some sense. But with no one out putting a meaningless runner on 1B was a puzzling choice.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The cubs are so bad at those situations, the dodgers basically gave the game up, as you said. I'm pretty sure that bases loaded, one out (javy K), contreras and russell up next, chances are they find a way to escape. I'm glad I'm not a dodgers fan, I'd be pretty upset with that decision.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I was surprised by that, too. Javy has come through in some tough situations, so maybe they were worried he'd golf one.

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Maybe there was that. But to me that would be more of a consideration if a HR would win/tie the game. But a HR wasn't necessary to end it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DarBar15:

    Thanks for bringing this up. I was about to post the same thought.

    Javy in that situation is basically a free out. You don't even need to throw him close to a strike: he'll get himself out.

    Then you walk Almora, and maybe Rizzo too, and try for a double play.

    Pitching to Almora made no sense, because he doesn't strike out much, and you lose even if he grounds into a double play. If you walk Baez, you HAVE to walk Almora, too. I was scratching my head while watching (but glad they did it)

  • In reply to brober34:

    Right, thank you LA coaching staff for not knowing much about these cubs!

  • Morrow to the DL with back spasms, retroactive to 6/17. I hope this isn't serious.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    How bad can you hurt your back pulling up your pants? I am not a professional athlete but I am pretty sure I wouldn't be out more then 10 days pulling up some woman's skinny jeans.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The back is a tricky thing. I've had back problems going back 40 years to my my teens and I've thrown my back out picking up a piece of paper with no warning signs whatsoever. The Cubs are fortunate that he told them about it. Many pitchers would not.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I'm like you, TC. Every sneeze has the possibility of bringing on back spasms. Crippling ones where I end up crawling on the floor for a while because I can't stand up.

    I remember one time I got into the car to go to the chiropractor and, while climbing in, I dropped my keys on the ground. That was extraordinarily painful.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I've had back problems over the years, and I can vouch for this. It happens. I've thrown out my back putting something light in the trash.

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    Just for fun I did a quick check of Fangraphs cubs roster. Of the players with 200+ PAs (and then the next highest PA count is TLS at 96) which we can legitimately call "the usual starters," even though there are 10 of them, only Heyward checks in with a wRC+ of <100. Though even that is only nominal as he is sitting at 99. If I told you in March that as we go into the last week of June that Heyward is at a 99 wRC+ with 200+ PAs and is the LOWEST on the team with that number of PAs my guess is most of us would say, "Where do I sign?"

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Where do I sign?

    Speaking of pulling up numbers, I just saw your comment expressing your frustration with Chatwood on the game 1 recap. I'm not disagreeing, the walks are frustratingly frustrating, by I pulled up some numbers of my own.

    In 14 starts, Chatwood has pitched 68.1 innings, averaging a hair under 5 IP per start. In those 14 starts he has given up 5 ER 1 time, 4 ER 2 times, 3 ER 2 times, 2 ER 3 times, 1 ER 5 times, and 0 ER 1 time. He has 1 unearned run.

    With all the walks, which irritate me as well, he does this by not getting hit. He limits hard contact and gets ground balls. In those 68.1 IP, he has allowed only 55 hits. Of those hits, he has allowed only 11 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 home runs. The damage done against him is because of the walks.

    As bad as the optics are, he consistently does what is needed out of a 5th starter: pitch half a game and give your team a chance to win. I often say the only numbers that truly matter in baseball are the ones under the "R" column at the end of the game.

    I'm not saying this to defend him. I am disappointed because there is so much more potential there. But his actual results out of a 5th starter would leave other teams asking "where do I sign".

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I agree if he was making league minimum and like your said the 5th starter.

    At this price, you would have to expect a little more. Plus if the walks continue, I am not sure you can count on these results for 2.5 more years. I am a betting man, and I wouldn't bank on him keeping up this Houdini act no matter how much he has been able to limit hard contact so far. We all know that in this game, things tend to even out and absurd results against consistent data tend to revert back to the mean.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I figured the contract numbers would come up. I'm not satisfied either, I expect far more. But the reality is we signed him to be a 5th starter due to our lack of pitching development, and a big reason for that has been on focusing our top picks on projectable bats.

    As you say, things tend to even out. Chatwood has never had control issues this bad before. I'm not a betting man, but I would bet his walk rate goes down considerably over the next 2.5 years. And his stuff is elite.

    This is a fascinating topic, and I'm sure we will all discuss it much more in the future, but I'm short on time.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Like you said, we can go back n forth intelligently on the topic of Tyler Walkwoody. I know your not a betting man, but I hope your off that "He will be part of playoff rotation" If he's taking the ball in game 2 or 3 of the playoffs ( not because of injury) then something has gone terribly wrong. I can't even imagine the emotional toll it would take on us ( and players) seeing him struggle for 5 innings in a playoff setting.

    Although I do agree w you and believe the talent is there. Maybe he fixes it and next year he can start some playoff games! I need to see a couple of months of improved control before a feel confident in his starting a playoff game.

    Like you said, he has never been this bad w his control so this should mean he can only improve or the Cubs have messed him up worse.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I believe he has been fortunate to not give up more runs. He has a lot of traffic on the bases so it susceptible to a seeing-eye-single driving in 2 runs. I think it was hvhora (quickly becoming one of my favorite writers on this site) posted his DRA and it is a lot uglier than we would expect.

    What I keep hoping is that he suddenly learns to control at least some of his stuff. Have a pitch that he knows he can throw for a strike when a strike is what he needs. At this point I don't think he has that. If he gets that he suddenly becomes a devastatingly good pitcher. And I am OK making a 3/$39M bet that he can do that. But my patience is getting short.

    Given my choice when Darvish comes back would be to move Chatwood to the bullpen and give him "mop-up" duty and keep Montgomery in the rotation. Let Chatwood sort things out there and then put him back in the rotation when he is ready to contribute more reliably.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I am disappointed because there is so much talent there. I still believe the instances of talented pitchers with nasty stuff going through an uncharacteristic wild spell and then coming out of it are far more common than the career-ending cases of the yips that befell Ankiel or Knobloch.

    This is a fascinating topic and I'm sure we'll discuss it much more, but I gotta go. Pay the bills and all.

    Almost game time. Go Cubs!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I haven't given up on him yet. But I am getting impatient. I would like to see him have a "minor injury" when Darvish comes back. He has a world of talent. But he just keeps throwing a ton of BB.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I hope that the Cubs "piggy-back" Darvish and Chatwood for 2-3 starts or go with a 6-man rotation until the break. 17 games in 17 days is tough.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I'd like to see a 6 man rotation or a tandem start of Darvish and Chatwood during this 17 game stretch.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    I don't want to mess with Lester, Hendricks and Q's routine. To me, I do two things. I don't have Darvish and Chatwood back to back (may tax pen) so I would put Darvish in between Jon and Kyle. Secondly, I would piggy back Monty on every start of Chatwoods. Figure he throws 6-8th innings and then is probably available for a one or two out special instance in between.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Then maybe the Cubs can find a trade partner... where do I sign?

    How many pitches has he thrown? Going “a hair under 5 innings” every time means exposing the bull pen 4 innings every time... That will come back to bite, as it did yesterday, & cost them wins/over use of pen.

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