The Cubs had another easy romp on the field against Pirates earning a lopsided sweep. The win had a pall cast over it, however, as Anthony Rizzo was forced to leave with what could be a significant injury.
Chicago jumped all over Trevor Williams in the 1st inning as Rizzo walked and Nicholas Castellanos doubled to put runners on second and third with none out. Kris Bryant reached across home plate to hook a three-run homer to left field.
The Pirates scored five in the 3rd inning, knocking Jose Quintana from the game. None of it really matters, but the rally included the defining moment of the game. Williams attempted a sacrifice bunt and Rizzo ran in to field it, but rolled his ankle badly in the process and had to be helped off the field. X-rays were negative, but he’ll have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
The Cubs wasted little time responding in the bottom of the inning, with Bryant hitting homer number two and Victor Caratini knocking a sacrifice fly to tie the score. Two more runners reached before pinch-hitter Tony Kemp tripled to score both runners and put his team up 7-5. The Pirates tried to appeal that Jason Heyward didn’t touch third, but pitcher Michael Feliz threw the ball away and Kemp scampered home.
Why the Cubs Won
They bludgeoned the Pirates pitching staff again Sunday, capping off a weekend in which they scored a whopping 47 runs, a franchise record for a three-game series.
Rizzo’s injury is by far the most important part of the game. He needed a lot of help to get off the field and losing him for a significant period of time would be a big blow to the Cubs playoff hopes.
Stats That Matter
- Bryant has hit five homers his last five games; he will need to step up with Rizzo out.
- Schwarber continued his monster second half with three more hits.
- Castellanos had three hits and is up to a whopping 54 doubles on the season.
- Tyler Chatwood allowed just one run in three innings of relief as the Cubs rallied for the win.
The Cubs took care of business and are just two games out of first place. The impact of losing their team captain will be a key factor in that postseason push.
Ed. note: The Reds shuffled their rotation and while start Kevin Gausman Monday, bumping Gray back to Tuesday.