Joe Maddon got the six innings he wanted from starter Yu Darvish, and the offense racked up the runs necessary to move the Cubs back above .500.
Darvish struggled with control early, setting up a bases loaded jam in the first after walking David Peralta and hitting Adam Jones, but was able to work his way out of trouble. Yu would need 56 pitches to get through the first two innings, but he managed to avoid any damage and settled in from there.
The Cubs started the third with strikeouts from Kyle Schwarber and Darvish, but a Daniel Descalso walk followed by a Kris Bryant double got runners into scoring position. Descalso scored on a balk call against Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Godley that also advanced Bryant to third. Anthony Rizzo hit a double to bring home Bryant, Báez was intentionally walked, and the stage was set for David Bote to knock in a 3-run home run (469 FT!), putting the Cubs up 5-0.
After a Rizzo double to lead off the fifth, Bote hit his second home run of the night, a two-run shot, that put the Cubs up 7-0. David Peralta got the lone run for Arizona with a home run in the bottom of the sixth, but Maddon left Darvish in to finish up the inning. Darvish finished with a line of 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 K, and 4 BB.
In the top of the seventh, Rizzo struck again with his fifth home run of the season. Báez roped a double, and Bote took first on a hit-by-pitch that briefly cleared the dugouts and bullpens. After the dust settled, Jason Heyward drove Báez home with a single, ending the scoring with the Cubs up 9-1. Kyle Ryan pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and Allen Webster closed the game out. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
After notching just one hit through the first 2.2 innings, the Cubs opened this game up with two outs in the third, scoring five runs and chasing Zack Godley from the game by the time the inning was over. The Cubs didn’t let up once reliever Matt Koch took over for Godley and continued to put runs on the board to run away with this one. Yu Darvish struggled with command early, but he didn’t let the Diamondbacks cash in and ultimately settled in for a quality start.
- An unexpected balk call against Godley with runners on 2nd and 3rd set the stage for some big two-out production, as the Cubs batted around in the top of the third. David Bote’s home run in this inning was certainly the game’s big blow.
- Darvish struck out the side in the bottom half of that same inning which gave the Cubs a much-needed shutdown inning. He kept the game moving and gave himself the chance for the win.
Stats That Matter
- Jason Heyward is 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts so far this season.
- David Bote had the first two-homer game of his career, ending the night with five RBIs.
- Yu Darvish needed 56 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Joe let him get through the sixth, finishing the night with 110 pitches.
- With a 3-5 night on Saturday, Anthony Rizzo’s OPS has climbed back up to .822 on the season.
Cubs pitchers were solid all evening (Darvish, Ryan, Webster) and had plenty of run support to back them. It was good to see Darvish work his way out of early trouble and for Maddon to let him push past the 100-pitch count to finish the sixth inning. The Cubs ended up outhitting Arizona 12-2, which is usually a good recipe for success.
The Cubs wrap up their visit to Chase Field tomorrow afternoon. The Cubs send José Quintana to the mound against former Cardinal Luke Weaver. First pitch is 3:10 pm CT, televised on WGN and on the radio at 670 The Score. It will also be the free game of the day on MLBtv.