Finally--Giants 5 Cubs 4 (13 innings)

The Cubs road woes continued for at least another night. So at least one narrative continues. Another one was shown to be meaningless in the shutdown inning. Yu Darvish was twice given a lead and twice he went right back out there and shut down the opposition. Unfortunately an inning later, the Giants were able to tie and then take the lead. Ace Madison Bumgarner actually was less successful by this measure, but the Giants managed a three run blitz in the fourth. The Cubs fought back to tie the game, but couldn't scratch across a go ahead run. A walkoff home run by Pablo Sandoval meant the Giants remain red hot winning another one run and/or extra inning game.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The game started off promisingly for the second night in a row. Kyle Schwarber struck out to start the game, but Javier Baez ripped a double into left field. Kris Bryant singled to drive in Javy and put the Cubs ahead for the first time. Anthony Rizzo hit into the shift and Bryant ran into a double play to end the inning.

Yu Darvish looked strong to start the game. Buster Posey hit a one out single but was erased on Pablo Sandoval's double play ball. Bumgarner worked around a two out walk to Robel Garcia in the second to keep the Cubs at one run. Alex Dickerson presence in the lineup was felt instantly in the bottom half of the the inning. Dickerson doubled in the center. Brandon Crawford made a productive out that loomed large when Mike Yastrzemski hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Javy and KB went back to work in the third inning. Baez reached on a two out single. Javy then stole second and then third base with Bryant at the plate. Bryant hit another single to drive in Baez to put the Cubs back ahead 2-1. Darvish yielded a two out single in the bottom half of the frame, but struck out Buster Posey to end the third.

Madison Bumgarner locked in at this point and retired the next nine Cubs he faced to roll into the seventh inning. Yu Darvish was not able to match him when Alex Dickerson hit a juiced ball homer to tie the game with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Crawford followed that up with a hard hit single and Darvish lost on Yastrzemski on pitches. Kevin Pillar doubled into centerfield to put the Giants ahead 4-2. Darvish retired Joe Panik and Bumgarner to end the inning.

Darvish was able to throw a pair of 1-2-3 innings of his own to keep the Cubs in the game. Jason Heyward broke Bumgarner's streak to start the seventh inning with a double. Bumgarner punched out Garcia, but Victor Caratini's single gave the Cubs yet another base hit with runners in scoring position. David Bote pinch hit and struck out in place of Darvish. Bumgarner escaped the seventh without any further damage to leave the game still leading 4-3.

Rowan Wick was the first Cubs reliever, and he looked sharp. The bullpen has long been identified as a weak spot and Wick is continuing to make a case to be a more trusted member of it. Hard throwing Reyes Moronta took over in the eighth inning. He punched out Javy to start the frame. Kris Bryant continued loving being the Cubs 3 hole hitter with another extra base hit. Bryant was able to advance on his double when Rizzo grounded out to the pitcher. Daniel Descalso pinch hit for Albert Almora Jr., and miraculously drew a base on ball. Bruce Bochy brought in the lefty Tony Watson to face Heyward, but J-Hey did what he was signed to do three years ago. Heyward's ball squirted through the infield to drive in Bryant to tie the game at 4. Robel Garcia struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to leave the game tied.

Rowan Wick started off the bottom half of the eighth. He lost Brandon Belt and that was enough for Maddon to send for Brandon Kintzler. Kris Bryant made a nice diving catch to rob Buster Posey for the first out in the inning. Then Kintzler did what he does best in inducing a groundball. The bouncer off the bat of Sandoval took Javy right to the bag who then fired to first to end the inning.

Cubs fans then got to see Will Smith up close and personal. He induced three straight groundballs. The second one off the bat of David Bote resulted in an infield single when Sandoval's throw took Belt off the bag. However, Addison Russell continued to make himself a fan favorite by hitting into an inning ending double play. Tim Collins pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his return to the big league team to send the game to extra innings.

Will Smith made quick work of the Cubs in the tenth. Steve Cishek went out there in the tenth inning, and Kevin Pillar jumped on the second pitch he saw to nearly end the game right there. Instead it was a double with no outs. Joe Panik hit a pop fly that kept Pillar at second. Stephen Vogt hit a deep fly ball that advanced Pillar to third but resulted in the second out of the inning. Maddon elected to walk Belt to have Cishek to face Posey. Cishek drilled Posey on a pitch that badly missed to load the bases. Sandoval hit an easy groundball to Descalso to let Cishek off the hook and send the game into the eleventh.

The Cubs again went quietly in the eleventh. Craig Kimbrel matched Smith's 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the frame. The Cubs hit into another double play in the twelfth that killed the momentum following the leadoff single from Caratini. Mark Melancon finished off the inning easily following the double play. Brad Brach worked around a two out walk to keep the game going, but when he went back out in the thirteenth he gave up a deep drive to Pablo Sandoval. Robel Garcia attempted to make a game saving catch at the wall, but the ball bounced into the stands for the walkoff winner.

Random Reference

I am not entirely sure I am not a hummingbird at this point.

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  • I would appear the hot start to the second half has stalled... Theo?

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    When you continuously rely on your core four to score you enough runs to win a game, if they don't produce enough and you bat them together,you are asking for trouble. The cubs rely way too heavily on long ball and strike out way too much to rally in defeat, they need at least two contact hitters to make this line up work and they don't have em on this roster, too many prima donnas who swing for the fences instead of situational hitting, and I can't blame Maddon on this, he preaches it daily, this is on roster make up(Theo).

  • In reply to tater:

    I think the guys are told by the coaching staff to have that approach at the plate. There's so much focus on hitting HRs that when situational hitting is needed, they have no idea how to do it. That's baseball in 2019, unfortunately.

  • Is it time to sell? I say noway!

  • Steve Cishek's arm officially fell off last night.

  • It doesn't look good. Joe can twist himself into a pretzel trying to mix and match this roster, but it just won't balance. Cubs are not quite good enough to win on the road.

  • They came very close to being swept by SD at home. Now the road woes continue. They could easily be looking up at SL today.

    Yes they've had a good record over the past couple of years. But the division was considerably weaker. Could they hang on and win the Central? Sure. It's possible. But the Crew and Cards will make moves to improve soon.

    Even wearing the rosiest of glasses this team will not get past Atlanta or LA. To be a serious contender this year it's going to take some bold moves. As in more than one.

  • Fasten your seat belts as the last 2 plus months are going to be a rollercoaster in the NL Central.

    Though the Cubs continue to miss putrting teams away this year, I don't believe the team will be overrun by anyone else in the division.

    In my mind, this coming offseason will feature many changes, and most likely, not limited to the guys on the frontline.

    While I thought there was a good chance for the team to dominate after 2016, it is now apparent that several players performance is indicative of their true level of play, which has contributed to the current predictament.

    I am not sure how much can be done with the 2019 roster, but if the Cubs make the pastseason this year, I think they will go in as the weak sister.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Do the offseason changes start with Joe Madden?
    Just asking.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    That would cover those calling for a big change.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I've never gotten the impression that Maddon even wants to come back. After all his years in the game why not pack up the Cousin Eddie and he and his wife hit the open road? I would.

    I think there will be a shift in offensive philosophy and probably a couple of new guys in the OF and some sort of bridge to Hoerner at 2B. For now though it's bandaids and see what we can do in October.

  • The Cubs now have the worst road record in the NL, as well as more road games on the schedule than any club in the NL. Not a great combination. Hope Theo can pull a magic rabbit out of the hat.

  • Theo has deemed Kyle Schwarber untouchable, who I believe has more value to an American League club. Why are the Cubs hanging on to Addison Russell ? Outfielders, the Cubs passed on Andrew Mc Cutchon and Michael Brantly , both , who would have provided a big upgrade to the clubs outfield. And the way Joe handled the pitching in the eight inning in the Cub's first game at S.F. was mind boggling.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Who told you Theo has deemed Kyle untouchable?? The problem is trying to replace his power from the left side if you trade him.
    My guess is his trade value isn't high enough to trade him, not that he is untouchable. I'm sure if Boston offered Benintendi straight up, Theo would say yes in less than a nano second.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    How would Andrew McCutchon spending almost 2/3 of the season on the IL help the Cubs this year? I am interested in hearing this.

  • There is an extremely interesting article in this morning's 538 on the deadline situation: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-teams-that-should-be-buying-and-selling-at-this-years-baseball-trade-deadline/
    "Teams That Should Be Buying And Selling At This Year’s Baseball Trade Deadline".

  • On the upside the Cubs have really battled in SF. Bryant, Riz, JHey, Javy, Schwarbs and the pitchers too. Everybody actually! We even got a couple good at bats from Descalso. They just have been coming up short to team that is playing at their best. If Strop was Strop they might be 2-0.

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