Baseball is a weird game. The Cubs and Brewers have played 24 innings in the past two days, and the Cubs have managed just two runs in the nearly three games played. Yet the Cubs have managed to pull out the victory today that again puts them into first place. Cole Hamels was brilliant at Wrigley again and the Cubs bullpen matched Hamels nearly pitch for pitch. The Cubs scratched just enough across the board to earn victory number 23 on the year.
Cole Hamels was very good. Hamels pitched seven innings of one run ball. Colebert pitched around three walks issued but really was cruising until Hernán Pérez launched a two out home run in the fifth inning to briefly give the Brewers the lead. Hamels had actually faced the minimum number of batters prior to the Pérez blast. A fourth inning Lorenzo Cain single and seventh inning Jesús Aguilar single were the only other base hits allowed by Hamels.
Unfortunately for Cole, there wasn't a victory to be earned since Zach Davies nearly matched Hamels performance. The Cubs were in position to grab an early lead against Davies with Jason Heyward's leadoff triple. However, Heyward was tossed out at the plate on a fielder's choice in the next at bat, and the Cubs went quietly in the first inning. Davies also faced the minimum through innings two and four. He also got two outs to start the fifth inning. David Bote singled and he scored to tie the game on Albert Almora Jr.'s double.
The Cubs forced the Brewers to go to the bullpen sooner with Davies not finishing the seventh inning, but the very good Brewers bullpen kept the Cubs bats largely quiet during the late innings. The Cubs bullpen was better though. Carl Edwards Jr., Brandon Kintzler and Kyle Ryan combined to pitch into the eleventh inning with no stress. Brad Brach induced a little stress with a two out double Eric Thames. A wild pitch moved Thames to third, but Lorenzo Cain flew out to keep the score level.
Matt Albers pitched into the first real trouble spot for either team since the fifth inning. Albers walked Anthony Rizzo and then Javier Báez singled to give the Cubs a scoring chance. Willson Contreras bounce into a double play which allowed the Brewers to walk Kyle Schwarber and David Bote. Almora grounded out to end the inning.
Tyler Chatwood took over in the twelfth inning and pitched four innings were he scattered three walks. Chatwood only allowed a runner which scoring position in the thirteenth inning, but the Brewers never could come closer to taking a lead. Javier Báez nearly hit a homerun to lead off the thirteenth inning. He was left stranded there with Chatwood and Addison Russell providing the final two outs of the inning. It didn't matter as Willson Contreras finally ended the game with a one out walk off blast in the fifteenth.
These types of games can be a grind to watch and must be a grind to play. It felt a little like Peter at the end of this clip when they won.