The Cubs got off on the right foot in their series against the Giants on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Between a terrific starting pitching performance and some timely power, they had just enough to just hang on for a victory.
The suddenly red-hot Yan Gomes gave the Cubs an early lead with a two-run home run against Carlos Rodón in the bottom of the 2nd. Rodón was outstanding from that point on but he was outdueled by Drew Smyly, who kept San Francisco off the board through seven innings.
Nico Hoerner provided important insurance runs when he hit his own two-run homer off of reliever Yunior Marte in the bottom of the 6th inning. That four-run lead would be put to the test by the Cubs’ suddenly incredibly shaky bullpen.
Smyly came out of the game in the 8th inning after a leadoff throwing error by Hoerner. Manny Rodriguez took over and walked the bases loaded before giving up a two-run double to Evan Longoria, but Brandon Hughes was able to escape the jam with Chicago still ahead 4-2.
The rookie left-hander stayed out for the save in the 9th inning and closed out the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Smyly was able to pitch a gem of a game and the Cubs made the most of their five hits, sending two of them over the fence.
Eye on the Future
- Another huge game for Hoerner with a home run, single, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
- It was nice to see Hughes, or just anyone in Chicago’s bullpen, have a good performance.
- Nick Madrigal had to come out of the game with a cramp in his hamstring.
- Just a great overall effort after a bad outing in St. Louis for Drew Smyly: 7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 8 K, and 2 BB.
- Yan Gomes is so locked in he even drew a walk.
It is nice to mix in a win every now and then for the Cubs. Smyly has made a pretty good case for coming back next year to fill a spot in the rotation. If Hoerner can start hitting consistently for power, the sky is the limit.