The Cubs won a slug-fest Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, pulling out a 12-11 victory. Baseball being baseball, Thursday’s game saw just a single run scored in nine innings. For the second straight day, it was the home team taking the one-run victory.
Kyle Hendricks and former Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija combined to allow just one runner through the first three innings with the wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The elements would end up playing a major factor in the outcome Thursday.
Jason Heyward hit a lazy fly ball to center in the 4th inning that the normally ultra-reliable Kevin Pillar lost in the sun for a gift single. An error by Brandon Crawford put two on before a Kris Bryant double play moved J-Hey to third with two down. Anthony Rizzo then lined a single to center on a two strike count to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
That was enough for the Professor who went seven strong innings to preserve the lead. Brandon Kintzler allowed a two-out triple to Crawford in the 8th, but Kyle Ryan struck out pinch-hitter Austin Slater to end the threat. Ryan and Rowan Wick combined to pitch a 1-2-3 9th inning to complete the three-game sweep. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
After a very shaky game Wednesday the Cubs pitchers dominated today. The Giants had just four hits and never had more than one in an inning. Hendricks had his second consecutive outstanding start.
Chicago got both of their two hits for the game in the pivotal 4th inning. They took advantage of the only time they had a runner in scoring position the whole game. Rizzo’s single just barely went above Crawford’s glove at short, but it was just enough to give the Cubs the lead for good.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks was in control all game: 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 7 K, and 0 BB. His ERA at Wrigley Field this season still sits below 2.00.
- Ryan and Wick looked very good again in a combined 1.2 innings. Each coaxed a grounder and struck out a batter. No reason not to keep using them in high-leverage spots.
The Cubs keep finding ways to win the games at home they seem to lose on the road. I have no explanation as to why that is happening. At 11 games over .500, they are tied at their high-water mark for the season.
The Cubs welcome the red-hot Washington Nationals to town for three-games starting Friday at 1:20pm CT. Veterans Anibal Sánchez and Jon Lester face off in a contest available on ABC-7 and MLB Network (out-of-market only), and 670 the Score.