It was getting ugly. The climate of Cubdom was getting as ugly as the play on the field and another clunker would have provided an interminable 48 period ahead of the faux rivalry. Instead the Cubs won emphatically. The offense broke out in a big way and buried the Pirates instead of allowing for any late inning dramatics this evening. Jose Quintana had a very solid start the day after Cease wins his debut. Q on the other hand has both wins on this road trip. Still this has the feeling of a narrative defining win. The manager was tossed in the middle innings ahead of the offense finally posting a crooked number. Robel Garcia had three base hits in his first start including his first big fly. This could be that season defining moment.
But it is important to remember Jack White and not get to high after this game. The exclamation point ending a losing streak feels good, and the first blocks are certainly be laid in the Robel Garcia wing at Cooperstown. Enjoy the next 48 hours basking in a Cubs blowout victory.
The Cubs did it the Chicago way by scoring early and often in this one. Kyle Schwarber and Javier Báez each struck out on high fastballs. But Kris Bryant reminded us of why this used to be said so often.
We have Kris Bryant and you don't.
— Cubs Den (@CubsDen) May 13, 2015
The Cubs held onto their 1-0 lead after the first inning. Q had trouble early with Kevin Newman single and Bryan Reynolds reached on Robel Garcia's error. But Josh Bell made two outs to make up for refusing to be retired earlier in the series.
Albert Almora Jr. hit an even longer home run than Bryant in the second inning. Jose Osuna reached with one out in the bottom half. Jung Ho Kang doubled drive in Osuna, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Elias Dias hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Lyles took strike three looking to help his counterpart end the second.
Kris Bryant hit a ground rule double with one out in the third inning and he was able to trot home on Willson Contreras's two out blast. Robel Garcia split the gap in right center to triple for his first big league hit, but he would remain stranded there as Bote struck out swinging. Newman! started the bottom half of the Pirates third with a single. He reached third on Starling Marte's one out single. Q got what felt like a moral victory when Josh Bell hit a deep fly that stayed in the ballpark. The sacrifice fly caught the Cubs lead to one, but the score would remain 4-3 after Jose Osuna bounced into an inning ending fielder's choice.
Jordan Lyles yielded a two out double to Kyle Schwarber, but put his only zero on the board in the fourth inning. There were some fireworks though as Joe Maddon took exception to another up and in pitch to Javier Báez. Maddon would get ejected for arguing across the field at Hurdle. Quintana settled in to retire 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. Q would put four zeroes on the board. The Cubs spotted him a big lead by blowing the game wide open in the fifth inning.
Bryzzo struck to start the fifth with Bryant doubling into left field again. KB scored on Rizzo's single. Willson Contreras singled to end Lyles afternoon. Clay Holems was greeted by a single up the middle from the still hot hitting Robel Garcia to load the bases. As if to make Joe Maddon's point, Holmes drilled David Bote in the helmet. Bote drove in a run the hard way and stayed in the game. Almora and Q each hit into fielder's choice outs at the plate, but Kyle Schwarber drew a walk to drive in another run. Javy broke it open with a two run scoring single.
The 9-3 lead would be more than enough for Q and the bullpen, but they added two more in the sixth for good measure. Rizzo tripled to start the sixth against Holmes. Contreras grounded out to drive in Rizzo. Garcia then launched his first career big league home run to dead center. The 11 run explosion was certainly a sight for sore eyes.
Tyler Chatwood took over in the eighth and kept the streak going with a clean inning. The only drama in the ninth inning was Robel Garcia's bid for a cycle in his first start. He was rung up on a check swing on a high fastball by Joe West to rob the moment. Steve Cishek pitched a clean ninth inning as the Pirates went in order for the final 17 batters of the game.
I had this whole thing about John Lackey and the type of start Jose Quintana had this afternoon in Pittsburgh. Q played stopper in a typical Lack style. Q failed to provide a shutdown inning in the second and third inning. The Pirates tied and came within a run in the third. You looked down and back up three innings later the Pirates are still at three runs. And since we are thinking about John Lackey it is time once again to think about his insatiable lust for human flesh.