For the first seven innings on Saturday, it seemed like another game the Cubs would drop to the Reds. Tyler Chatwood struggled again, and the Cubs found themselves down big. But the Northsiders staged a furious 8th inning rally to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.
The Tyler Chatwood Experience was put on show right out of the gate. In the first inning, Jim Hickey met with the struggling Cubs pitcher on the mound after he juiced the bases. The meeting didn’t help; two consecutive wild-pitches immediately followed and the Reds took an early 2-0 lead. Eugenio Suarez added on to the lead in the third inning with a three-run shot to make it 5-0.
Randy “The Goat” Rosario escaped the 6th ahead of a stellar performance today. In addition to pitching, he added a run of his own in the bottom of the inning, Rosario’s first career hit and RBI, which made it 7-3. After Javy Baez blasted a solo homer in the 7th to make it 7-4, Rosario held the Reds down in the 7th and 8th inning to set the stage for the Cubs rally.
Emir Garrett walked Caratini and Addison Russell to open the 8th, followed by a David Bote pinch-hit single. Jared Hughes relieved him and allowed a two-run double to Ben Zobrist to cut the Reds lead to one. Baez, of course, hit a single that deflected off of Hughes to tie the score at 7-7. Anthony Rizzo‘s groundout scored Zobrist and gave the Cubs an 8-7 lead, which Brandon Morrow locked down in the 9th for the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Randy Rosario did great work keeping the Reds off the board while the Cubs rallied. The offense kept showing its never quit mentality with another late rally.
Javy Baez was running on Rizzo’s winning RBI groundout in the 8th. If he hadn’t been running, it likely would have been a double play.
Stats That Matter
- Tyler Chatwood was not good again on Saturday: 5.2 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 4 K, and 4 BB. Joe Maddon left him out to throw 121 pitches to save the bullpen. His ERA is starting to match what would be expected with his control issues. Time may be running out on Chatwood staying in the rotation.
- Javy Baez just keeps doing what he does. There should be an investigation if he doesn’t make the All-Star team.
- Victor Caratini was on base three times, including the leadoff walk that sparked the rally. No offense to Chris Gimenez, but Caratini’s bat is a helpful addition to the lineup.
The Cubs had no business winning that game, yet they did just that. Winning a game like Saturday’s feels like finding a lost ten dollar bill, a really nice bonus. Surprisingly, despite the roller-coaster outings, the Cubs are somehow 8-8 in games Tyler Chatwood starts.