Jason Heyward committed an uncharacteristic error in the top of the second inning. That led to the San Francisco Giants (73-63) first run even though they hadn’t yet managed a single hit in the game. Jason then took it upon himself to ensure the Chicago Cubs (88-48) stayed in the game.
The Giants took a one-run lead into the bottom of the fourth inning. Heyward singled to drive in Anthony Rizzo and tie the game at one run a piece. With the Cubs trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jason came up to bat after Addison Russell led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Heyward slapped a single up the middle of a drawn in infield to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Neither team had many scoring opportunities in the extra frames. The biggest chance came in the bottom of the 13th inning with Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell on first and second with only one out and, what do ya know, Jason Heyward up to bat. On a 1-2 count, Heyward looped a soft single into left center field. It was perfectly placed and Anthony Rizzo jogged home to score the winning run.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 4, 2016
Cubs win a thriller, Jason Heyward style, by the score of 3-2 (Box Score).
John Lackey (9-7, 3.36 ERA) was activated off the DL just before the game due to a sore right shoulder. Good news, the shoulder looks fine. Lackey was shut-down good today, allowing only one hit through five innings. He gave up two runs, one unearned due to the Heyward error. Joe Maddon clearly had Lackey on a low pitch count today to ensure his arm didn’t get overworked. He pulled Lackey after 76 pitches.
The bullpen was stellar and has been over the last three games. Seven relievers combined to pitch eight innings, allowing no runs and a mere three hits. It was a team effort out of the ‘pen and every guy really did a sensational job today.
Stats that matter
- The Jason Heyward Game – 3-for-6, 3RBI
- John Lackey looked as good as he has all year – 5.0IP, 2R, 1H, 1BB, 4Ks
- The bullpen, that wonderful, amazing bullpen – 8.0IP, 0R, 3H, 2BB, 11Ks
- Anthony Rizzo had a nice game and got on base for Jason to drive him in – 3-for-6, 2R
- Addison Russell played a big role today – 3-for-5, 1R, 1BB, 2B
The Cubs just keep on winning games. Close games, blow out games, pitching duels, you name it. It’s not a matter of if the Cubs win the NL Central, only when. We’ll be counting down with you in our daily Chicago Cubs Magic Number Watch. Keep an eye out for it every morning until the Cubs close out the division title.
The Cubs travel to Milwaukee on Monday, Labor Day, to play the Brewers at 12:10 PM CT. Kyle Hendricks (13-7, 2.09 ERA) continues his push for the Cy Young Award as he takes the ball tomorrow for the Cubs.