Back to the winning ways! For a day at least!
Jake Arrieta had it going again today, with 6.1 innings of excellent work (and a hat tip to Carl Edwards for finishing off that 7th inning), and he helped set the Cubs up with a healthy 5-1 lead going into the 8th.
And then the thing happened that seems to always happen lately, the bullpen blew up. This time it was the typically-reliable Pedro Strop (well, at least recently), and it was all with two outs: a bloop single, a slightly harder single, then a two-strike double to left, and a two-strike seeing-eye single. There was absolutely randomness and bad luck involved, but here’s the thing: on both of those two-strike hits, Strop had the batters set up to flail at a buried slider. Instead, he hung both of them. Baseball in a nutshell: a lot of luck and randomness, but also a whole lot of player execution that you can control.
Fortunately for the Cubs, it was all academic, both because Wade Davis didn’t allow a run in the 9th for his 25th straight save, and also because Javy Baez hooked the Cubs up with a two-run insurance blast in the bottom of the 8th.
The Cubs overall had a solid day at the plate, including a perfect one from Victor Caratini. Also, Anthony Rizzo trolled his former teammate Miguel Montero – who was famously set free after his comments about pitchers not contributing in the running game – by stealing a base. Ben Zobrist tried, too, but Miggy got his revenge on that one.
It was a good way to dust off from yesterday’s game, and also to get the weekend started on the right foot.