After a flat loss against the Padres on Thursday night, the Cubs looked to bounce back Friday afternoon. At times it was an incredibly frustrating game for Chicago as San Diego would not go quietly. After a very tense final two innings, the Northsiders were able to nail down the W.
Jose Quintana had a much better opening inning than his last outing. Hunter Renfroe singled, but Q only needed 12 pitches to escape the inning. Tyson Ross went 1, 2, 3 through the Cubs in the bottom of the 1st. The Padres stranded another single in the 2nd, before Javy Baez smacked a high slider over the wall in right for a solo homer to make it 1-0. Kyle Schwarber singled, then got caught around second on a Victor Caratini ground out for a double play.
The Cubs added a run in the 3rd, Tommy La Stella walked and was singled to third by Anthony Rizzo. Ben Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly to center for the second Chicago run. The Padres finally got to Quintana with a Christian Villanueva solo homer in the 4th, it was just enough to make the left field basket.
La Stella and Rizzo combined again to start a 5th inning rally. This time it was back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Zobrist grounded to Eric Hosmer at first who hesitated then fired home. Tommy beat the throw for the third run. Actually he appeared out, but Padres manager Andy Green had used his challenge unsuccessfully claiming a pitch hit Villanueva in the 2nd inning, a costly mistake.
Q went 6 strong innings allowing only the one run, before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Carl Edwards threw a quick 1, 2, 3 inning in the 7th. Rizzo added a homer to his two singles, his solo shot against Robert Stock was barely in the basket in right.
Edwards went out to start the 8th with a 4-1 lead and was quickly greeted with singles from Cory Spangenberg and Travis Jankowski. Joe Maddon called on Steve Cishek who got Manuel Margot to hit a tapper right to him. Cishek spun and threw to second, but it was a mile wide going into center and giving the Padres a free run. AJ Ellis bunted both runners over and Renfroe hit a grounder to Javy at second who fired home to cut down Jankowski.
Randy Rosario, back after two days in Iowa, entered with two down to face Hosmer who drew a walk. Brandon Kintzler then faced Villanueva with the bases loaded. The former Cubs scalded a liner to third where defensive replacement David Bote snagged it for the final out.
The Northsiders got a crucial insurance run in the bottom of the 8th. Javy smoked a liner into the right field corner against Jordan Lyles. Baez went for a triple and made it with his patented swim-move slide. He was able to score on a Ian Happ sac fly to center. Addison Russell and Victor Caratini singled to make it runners on first and third with one out. Albert Almora hit a pop up that shortstop Freddy Galvis made a sliding play on with his back to home. Russell didn't try to tag on the play when he likely would have scored, Bote struck out to end the inning.
The 9th got very tense to say the least, Pedro Strop entered for the save. Galvis hit a seeing eye single and Jose Pirela walked, Spagenberg doubled to cut the lead to 5-3. Jankowski grounded to Rizzo for the first out, but Pirela scored to reduce the lead to one. David Bote then played hero, taking a Margot grounder to third and going home to nail Spangenberg at the plate. Strop struck out the only-dangerous-against-the-Cubs pinch-hitter Austin Hedges to secure the 5-4 win.
High Q Efficient
Quintana looked worlds better than his 51 pitch 1st inning debacle in St. Louis. Most importantly, he didn't walk a batter for the first time all season long. When his control is on Jose can be a very good pitcher. Did it help he was facing a weak Padres lineup? Perhaps some, but it was encouraging to see none the less.
Javy I Think I Love You
Seriously what else is there to say about Mr. Baez? Today he had the opposite field stroke working on his triple and homer. He matched his career-high in homers set last season with his 23rd. He made a huge play nailing the runner at home in the 8th inning. Every year Javy improves on the year before with hard work and a sky high baseball IQ. Javy is the Cubs and possibly the National League MVP.
Me and Javy this season.
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