Call it a comeback. Travis Wood pitched well enough to keep the Cubs in the game, but they were down 3-1 heading into the seventh. The Cubs put runners on second and third with one out … and actually scored them! Starlin Castro plated one on a grounder, and Anthony Rizzo finally logged a hit against a lefty, driving in the second run.
A word on the inning in which the Cubs took the lead …
With the game tied in the 8th, and a runner on second with no outs, Dale Sveum elected to bunt with Welington Castillo (who succeeded) in favor of setting up … Luis Valbuena and Brent Lillibridge? I actually don’t hate the bunt in that situation in general (one of the VERY rare times I’d say that), but not with that personnel. I also didn’t care for Sveum’s choice to pinch hit Dioner Navarro for Brent Lillibridge with runners on the corners and one out. Yeah, Navarro’s probably a slight upgrade at the plate, but you burn through your bench (the only remaining backup catcher at that point, too), and you put the guy who’s far more likely to ground into a double play up at the plate. John Axford, doing his best Carlos Marmol impression, made it all moot by proceeding to walk the bases loaded before getting yanked. Scott Hairston ended up with a sacrifice fly to give the Cubs the lead, and David DeJesus padded it with a two-run single.
But, don’t get me wrong: I was happy with how things played out, and this was a good win.
Kyuji Fujikawa was missing his spots in the 9th with reckless abandon (and the cold air seemed to limit him to only his fastball), but the stuff was good enough to get the job done. But that wasn’t necessarily a surprise …