Cubs walk off behind David Bote, while White Sox continue to flounder

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In a season filled with come from behind victories, last night’s 4-3 Cubs win over the Nationals was the greatest.  The Cubs were up against the best pitcher in baseball, Max Scherzer.  They weren’t able to score off him.  They were, however, able to keep things close, thanks to the efforts of the newly acquired Cole Hamels.  Hamels allowed only one run in seven innings, nearly matching Scherzer.

Carl Edward Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth for the Cubs and Koda Glover did the same for the Nats.  That set things up for a memorable ninth inning.

After Scherzer and Hamels left....

Brandon Kintzler came on for the Cubs and made the Nationals glad they got rid of him.  After giving up a one out triple to Trea Turner, Kintzler then walked Wilmer Defo.  Joe Maddon then elected to intentionally walk Bryce Harper to load the bases.  Kintzler then did get Ryan Zimmerman to hit a groundball, but it was a hard hit grounder up the middle for a two-run single.  Justin Wilson then came on and closed things out with no further damage.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jason Heyward reached first on a one-out error by Nats second baseman, Wilmer Defo.  Albert Almora Jr. then was hit by a pitch.  After Kyle Schwarber popped out.  Willson Contreras was then hit by a pitch. That set the stage for David Bote.  Bote then delivered the second Cubs walk off grand slam of the season. This one was a bomb to center field which cleared the wall with plenty to spare.  Bote also scored a 9.8 on his bat flip.

Changing places?

So, will Kris Bryant be able to get back in the lineup?  That’s obviously a facetious question, but Bote could force Maddon’s hand in terms of lineup adjustments.  Addison Russell is the obvious choice to get more time on the bench.  Javy Baez could more over to short, Zobrist could spend more time at second and Bryant could see more time in the outfield.

New ace in town?

Also, is Cole Hamels now the ace of the Cubs staff?  I think so.  I hope Jon Lester can pull things back together, if not, the Cubs still have a shot if Hamels continues his good work.\

I have to admit.....

I haven’t always been a fan of Joe Maddon, but I think this is his best year as the Cubs manager.  His starters have generally been disappointing this season plus Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Willson Contreras have had disappointing seasons.  Anthony Rizzo struggled early, though he’s been coming on lately.  Maddon has used his bullpen to keep the Cubs up in the NL Central.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

David Bote has been a revelation this season.  Bote is easily the most pleasant surprise on the Cubs this year.  Ben Zobrist has also had a nice bounce back season, as has Jason Heyward.

Your guide to White Sox win probability

As far as the White Sox, their 9-7 loss to the Indians meant they lost two out of three to the Indians and five out of their last six overall.  Basically, if Carlos Rodon starts, the Sox have a good chance of winning.  If Reynaldo Lopez starts, they have a fair chance of winning.  If James Shields or Lucas Giolito starts, they have an outside shot.  If Dylan Covey starts, they’re toast.  Covey started yesterday, and, of course the Six didn’t win.

This is not good

I should mention, Adam Engle had the rare great day at the plate with the Sox, going 3-4 with a triple, home run and three RBIs. Adam Engle now has a higher batting average than Yoan Moncada, .224-.220.  Ouch.

 

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