Good lord. It’s been a while since we’ve had an utterly insane Cubs game, but we just had one. I can’t stop laughing.
The Cubs walked this one off – well, more accurately, the Reds walked it off for them – on a wild pitch that scored Javy Baez from third base with two outs in the 9th.
Getting there was a process …
Things got off to an inauspicious start for the Cubs, as John Lackey loaded the bases with nobody out. But he managed to get out of it allowing just one run (thanks in large part to a big throw from Kyle Schwarber). Then, the Reds loaded the bases again in the 2nd inning, but didn’t score. Then, Lackey cruised for four innings. What looked like it was going to be an ultra short disaster outing turned out to be yet another very solid Lackey outing here in the second half.
Offensively, the Cubs built a sizable lead on the strength of an Anthony Rizzo grand slam and a couple timely hits thereafter. The Cubs’ win expectancy at one point reached 98.4%.
But that 6-1 lead evaporated on the strength of three homers off of Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards Jr. in the 7th and 8th innings, and the Cubs couldn’t reclaim it in the bottom of the 8th. After Wade Davis pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, Javy Baez led things off for the Cubs in the bottom of the frame with a double. The Reds walked Jon Jay, and Ben Zobrist was called upon to bunt Baez over – a good decision in that particular situation, especially given how many groundballs Zobrist hits.
Zobrist missed on his first bunt attempt, but then was hit by the second pitch. Cool, bases loaded and nobody out, right? Nope – the umpire ruled – ridiculously – that Zobrist swung. Joe Maddon was LIT UP, rightly so, and was ejected from the game.
Zobrist then dribbled one that advanced the runners. Albert Almora struck out (in over-eager, ugly fashion), leaving it up to Kris Bryant with two outs. But the first pitch he saw when sailing wide to the backstop, and Baez scored.
Cubs win. Wow. We’ll have much more to say on this one (good and bad) tomorrow.