The Cubs blew out the Pirates tonight to complete the series sweep, and dominated in all facets of the game. The score will get the headlines, but how about this: Cubs pitchers struck out 12 Pirates and didn’t walk a single one.
Jose Quintana had yet another wonky first inning that, taken individually, you’d talk about all the flukey bad luck stuff. But … these innings keep happening. Maybe there’s nothing to it. Maybe when I dig in tomorrow, I’ll find that it was just a case of baseball being baseball, and sometimes baseball baseballs on a guy several times in a row.
Outside of that first inning (and inning in which he struck out three), Quintana was pretty fantastic, retiring 16 of the final 17 hitters he faced. Overall, I *think* he was really good tonight. But I’m a little gunshy on those pronouncements right now.
Offensively … ELL OH ELL. The Cubs exploded for 17 runs on a season-high 20 hits, including four homers. One of those homers, by Ian Happ, set a new franchise record and an MLB record. And one of those 17 runs came when Javy Baez stole home.
It was a good night.
The defense got fun in the 9th inning, with Ben Zobrist seeing time at shortstop. Cleary, the Cubs are all set there after all.