And now we can breathe. Wow, that was a crazy, wild ride but the Cubs found a way to win. Jake had a hard time today, which is very rare so it’s something we can handle but not something we want to see again anytime soon.
The Cardinals struck right off the bat and before you knew it they had a 1-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long because in the top of the second the Cubs put up a six-run inning for the second time in as many games. Five of the six runs came with two outs, including a Dexter Fowler RBI single, a Jason Heyward two-run double, and a Ben Zobrist two-run single.
The Cardinals added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to close the Cubs lead to 6-4. It was just close enough to make you start to wonder if the Cardinals were going to make an unlikely, seemingly impossible come back against Jake. That was until the Cubs opened up the lead in the top of the sixth inning with one swing of the bat by Kris Bryant. He hit a towering shot with two on, two out and two strikes to give the Cubs a 9-4 lead.
Relentless is usually a word we use to describe the Cubs offensive attack, so there’s no way I’m using it to describe the Cardinals. I think the word is more like ‘annoying’ than ‘relentless.’ They were like that fly that keeps buzzing around your head in the car, that you were sure you shooed out the window, only to have it continue to fly around your head for the next 200 miles. They made it close by matching the Cubs with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. And then, it got even closer when they added one more in the bottom of the seventh.
And just when it looked like things were going sideways for the Cubs, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon came in the game and shut the door on any hope the Cardinals had, it was a great showing by the bullpen right when the Cubs needed it most.
Stats that mattered
- Jake wasn’t great, or really very good, but the offense had his back today and added to his already league-leading run support numbers – 5IP, 4R, 7H, 1BB, 4Ks, 1HR
- I can’t say enough about Ben Zobrist. While Rizzo hasn’t been hitting well, Ben has stepped up and played the role of mini-Rizzo, turning into the engine that drives this team – 3-for-5, 1R, 2RBIs,
- Kris Bryant’s home run was huge and he’s quietly staring to put together some serious offensive numbers for the Cubs – 2-for-3, 2R, 3RBIs, 1BB
- Addison Russell was in the middle of a lot of the fun today too – 2-for-4, 2R, 1RBI
This game was a lot closer than you could ever imagine. If you would have told me that Jake was going to get nine runs from the Cubs offense today, I would’ve said it was going to be a blow-out. Anyone would’ve said it was going to be a blow-out. But it wasn’t. Isn’t baseball fun?
After a rough road trip that saw the Cubs go 4-5 it’s time to head home to Wrigley. The weather is looking hot too so hopefully the Cubs offensive stumbles will be a thing of the past with the warmer temps and friendly confines. The Cubs have an off-day tomorrow and will host the Phillies at 1:20 PM CDT on Friday, with Jon Lester set to take the hill.