If I told you the Cubs’ bullpen was incredible tonight, would you have expected that it was Rob Zastryzny, Joe Smith, and Carl Edwards Jr. covering five innings?
This team, man.
When Mike Montgomery had given up two runs in the top of the first, and Jeff Samardzija had given up three runs in the bottom of the first, it looked like we were in for a crazy game. That went double when both starters were out after four innings.
And, although it wasn’t quite as nuts as the first few innings might have suggested, it was a back-and-forth affair, with the Cubs losing the lead to the Giants, and the Cubs battling back to take the lead in the 7th inning on a bases-loaded hit by Addison Russell.
Of course, Russell coming through with two outs and the bases loaded, and giving the Cubs the lead, was not at all surprising, given what he’s done this year.
Instead, the biggest surprise of the night bookended that inning, with Joe Smith, freshly off the disabled list with a hamstring injury, threw two perfect innings in relief. And Smith didn’t just complete those innings clean, he looked damn good doing it. He struck out three, and the Giants really couldn’t get a solid swing in on him. His delivery helps him create ridiculous movement, and I think it looked a little sharper tonight, in both directions. That could be confirmation bias, but clearly the Giants thought it was nasty.
The Cubs also got two scoreless innings from Rob Zastryzny, who continues to impress, in relief of Montgomery, who did not have his best stuff. Then Carl Edwards Jr. got a chance to be the close, and looked mighty fine in the role.