I jinxed it by saying it felt like the Cubs just weren’t going to lose these days, didn’t I? Although the Cubs took a two-run lead into the 8th, and had a chance to bring in a lead run in the 10th, it’s the Reds who walked it off. Bully for them.
Yu Darvish had a surprising night on the mound, notching 11 strikeouts against ZERO walks in his 5.1 innings of work. There were still plenty of deep counts, but, I mean, Darvish did not yield a single walk on the night. Given how things have gone, that’s basically the equivalent of dropping a total heel turn on your audience out of nowhere in a series’ penultimate episode. You don’t see it coming, but mostly because it would have been too silly to suggest in advance.
Obviously it was far from an “efficient” outing for Darvish, as is necessarily the case when you’re hunting strikeouts, which he got in spades. And, but for some bad luck on a couple blooped balls in play, it would have been an even more effective outing in the runs column. All in all, there’s no way to come out of this one not feeling encouraged, in a relative sense, that precisely what we discussed earlier could be true: if Darvish can just get ahead early in more counts, then he can pretty successfully be a 5.0/6.0-inning pitcher, who won’t get you deep, but also should frequently get you to the bullpen with a chance.
And the Cubs *did* have a chance when the bullpen took over with one out in the 6th, but it was not their best night, as both Brandon Kintzler and Carl Edwards, Jr. gave up homers, which ultimately led to extra-innings. There, Brad Brach gave it up, with an assist from David Bote, who let a hard grounder get by him for a hit, and then couldn’t handle a Kris Bryant throw that would have nailed the lead runner at third. That lead runner, with one out, scored on a Yasiel Puig fly ball to center that might have otherwise been the third out of the inning.
Bummers aplenty in the later innings of this one.