That’s a great win for the Cubs. Great pitching. Great at bats. Great defense. Generally great base running. Just a great win.
Sure, they stranded a ton of runners early, but that’s because they’re getting a ton of guys on base. And teams that get a ton of guys on base score a ton of runs. Eventually.
Speaking of that, it’s possible that the Cubs got screwed out of a run in the 5th inning – twice. With two outs, Miguel Montero singled to left, and Starling Marte threw to the plate and Anthony Rizzo was called safe. The Pirates challenged, and it was close. Rizzo may have been out, though I didn’t see a conclusive view … but the call was reversed, and Rizzo was out. But then Joe Maddon challenged that Rizzo wasn’t given a lane to score, which sure looked to be true. The umps reviewed that one for about 10 seconds, and upheld the out call. I didn’t really understand any of it, and I’m not saying they got it wrong. It was all just very strange.
Also strange: Kris Bryant’s first home run! … um, kinda. With two on and two outs in the 7th, Bryant clobbered on to center. It bounced off of the wall, and Bryant just kept on running as the Pirates tried to cut down Rizzo at the plate. That led to Bryant getting caught in a rundown, but he committed to home at one point, and the throw got away, so he scored. It was ridiculous, and awesome.
Also awesome: the Jorge Soler double that preceded that play was perhaps the most incredible double I’ve ever seen – he turned on a 100mph fastball so quickly that he almost yanked it foul.
Also awesome: Jake Arrieta. He missed some spots in the first and got hit hard. Thereafter? Nobody did nothin’. He was crazy dominant, as he often is.
That middle of the order, tho …