This sure has been a wacky series, hasn’t it?
After Kris Bryant’s thrilling walk-off home run sealed yesterday’s win, the Cubs walked it off again tonight, courtesy of Jason Heyward’s 11th inning opposite field basket shot. It was a exhilirating end to a sloppy game and another awesome moment in what, so far, has easily been Heyward’s best start to a season as a Cub. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs won
Kyle Hendricks dominated for the second consecutive start. While he wasn’t able to pitch into the 9th inning today, he tossed eight spectacular innings, surrendering only one unearned run and striking out seven. Hendricks is really turning it on of late. Getting ‘vintage’ Hendricks this early in the season is a welcome development.
Kyle Ryan and Steve Cishek combined to blow the lead in the 9th inning, and it looked like the bullpen’s struggles might spoil the night when the Marlins tied the game to force extras. Heyward came to the rescue and the Cubs went home happy. All’s well that ends well, right?
Jason Heyward hit a walk-off home run! Moments don’t get much more key than that.
Although, the Cubs might not have gotten to the 10th inning at all if not for a very savvy double play turned by Anthony Rizzo. I’ve tried over and over to type up an explanation for the play, but I keep failing, so just check it out below.
Always bunt …
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 9, 2019
Rizzo’s quick thinking stopped a potential Marlins rally in its tracks and allowed the game to keep going before Heyward brought it to an end.
Stats that matter
- Bryant came into this game matching his career high walk rate of 14.3%. Two walks tonight certainly won’t hurt his cause to set a new career high in 2019.
- Hendricks has put together quite a two start stretch. In his last two games, he’s pitched 17 innings without allowing an earned run.
- Anthony Rizzo contributed to the Cubs 4th inning rally and finished the day with two hits in three at bats.
- Jason Heyward entered the night with a 135 wRC+. He only had the one hit tonight, but it sure was a big one.
- The Cubs have been sloppy on defense this entire series. A first inning error tonight brought their total to four for in the series.
- Per our friends @Cubs on Twitter, this was the first time the Cubs have won via walk-off home runs in consecutive games since 1998.
The Cubs keep finding ways to win games and overcome mistakes. That style of play, while exhilarating at times, doesn’t always work out so well. The Cubs will face a red hot Milwaukee Brewers teams this weekend in Chicago, so they’ll have to clean things up if they want to stay in first place.
The Cubs will look to take three of four in this series tomorrow. Walk-off home runs the last two nights have been fun, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying that a good old fashioned blowout win would be just fine, too.
Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.79 ERA) is hoping to get back on track against Marlins right hander Trevor Richards. You can catch the game at 1:20pm on NBC Sports Chicago or join Pat and Ron on the radio by tuning into 670 The Score.