That was awesome for so many reasons, not the least of which is obviously … the Cubs are now in first place!
The Cubs’ defense was brilliant in this one, making plays all over, and I feel like that deserves special mention. The Brewers’ defense was equally good, including a Ryan Braun diving catch (wut?), and a subsequent home run robbery (WHAT?!?).
The Cubs’ defense was there in support of another solid Jose Quintana outing, and the bullpen carried it from there through the 11th inning. That’s when the Cubs’ bats finally erupted for five runs to take the lead, and it all started with a monster Anthony Rizzo homer.
Before that, the Cubs had to scrap to tie it up in the 8th inning off of Josh freaking Hader of all pitchers. It doesn’t seem possible, but the Cubs pulled it off.
Managing a run off of Hader is commendable enough, but doing it in the process of making him through 35 pitches, bouncing him before he finished his second inning, and getting that run because LEFTY Jason Heyward ripped one? Dang, man. You feel like that was a mini win in and of itself.
Throw in the fact that Hader and Corey Knebel are probably out for at least tomorrow, and that’s another win.
Cubs had a huge opportunity later in the 8th, by the way, with the bases loaded and Knebel unable to throw strikes. On 2-0 to Kyle Schwarber, he threw another one outside, but somehow got a call outside the zone, even though he’d thrown six straight balls. Huge miss by the ump, and it turned the at bat totally around. Instead of a very plausible four-pitch walk, it turned into a typical AB and a groundout to second. I was annoyed, and would have remained annoyed had things not played out as they did.
As it stands, it was another great win for the Cubs, who’ve now won 8 OF 9 ALREADY against the Brewers.