Pablo Sandoval was 0-for-5 when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 13th inning, having done nothing against any Cubs’ pitcher for 12 innings. And with one swing of the bat — off a Brad Brach low fastball — Sandoval made winners of the Giants in extra innings again, the fourth time they’ve done so in the past six games.
Once again, things started well for the Cubs as Javier Báez and Kris Bryant teamed up to score the first two runs. Báez got hits in each of the 1st and 3rd innings — a double and single, respectively — and Bryant plated him with singles both times, putting the Cubs up 2-1 through three innings.
The game shifted a bit in the bottom of the 4th inning, however, as Yu Darvish suddenly became a different pitcher, losing command and suffering from curious pitch selection. He proceeded to give the Giants a big inning, allowing an opposite field homer to Alex Dickerson, a single to Brandon Crawford, a walk to Mike Yastrzemski, and a double to Kevin Pillar that plated both Crawford and Yastrzemski. By the end of the inning the Cubs trailed the Giants by two runs.
After scoring a run in the top of the 7th inning, the Cubs plated the tying run in the 8th thanks to a Heyward single that scored Bryant, who doubled earlier with one out. Heyward’s single came with two outs against Giants’ reliever Reyes Moronta, who had walked embattled Daniel Descalso.
Neither team would do anything offensively for four innings, until Pablo Sandoval came to bat in the bottom of the 13th. He took a below-the-zone Brach fastball the other way just barely into the seats and out of Robel Garcia‘s reach in left field, giving the Giants yet another one run win and the second 5-4 outcome in as many nights against the Cubs. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs let a team they should dominate at this stage in the season hang around. A poor inning by Darvish and the team’s inability to get any offense in extra innings eventually doomed them.
In an extra inning game, generally, the last moment is the key. This game was no different. Sandoval’s bomb lifted the Giants to victory.
Stats that Matter
- Bryant, Caratini, Heyward, and Báez combined to go 9-22 with 4 runs and 4 RBI in this game. Everyone else combined to go 0-24. Yikes.
- The Cubs’ bullpen went 6.1 innings of scoreless relief before Brach gave up the long ball to Sandoval. You can’t expect them to do much better than that.
- Craig Kimbrel threw a clean 11th inning with two strikeouts against the hot part of the Giants’ order. Definitely a good sign.
- Darvish, after finally getting a win in his last start, starts a new no-decision streak with a solid outing marred only by the one bad inning. He struck out six and walked only one, throwing 57 out of 77 pitches for strikes.
Somehow, some way, the Cubs need to salvage a game in this series, with Jon Lester on the mound for an afternoon game on Wednesday.
The Cubs and Giants will finish this three game set in the afternoon, a quick turnaround after the extra-innings affair. Jon Lester gets the nod for the Cubs and will face right-hander Tyler Beede for the Giants. Game time is 2:45 CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago and heard on 670 The Score.