Let me put the broad stroke up front: the Cubs just split a series on the road against the hottest team in the league, facing four starting pitchers who’ve been dominant, and without their best position player and (essentially) two of their top relievers.
This was a very, very good series outcome for the Cubs. I am quite happy.
As for the particulars of this game, what a relief that 7th inning was. It was, of course, already impressive that the Cubs had hung in the game and battled back to tie it, but there’s something about one of those pour-it-the-eff-on innings (with some goofs by the other team) that just lets you really exhale.
Clayton Kershaw was good today, though the Cubs did manage to put some traffic on the bases. He just makes it so hard to convert. Jose Quintana, by contrast, battled his continued command troubles (in many ways, his issues this year look a lot like Kyle Hendricks’, especially given the way each succeeds at his best), but at least he pitched into the 6th inning having allowed only three runs? I guess?
The bullpen was great once again until garbage time, and the bats exploded, with Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo having especially good days. I’m guessing that the bases-clearing double in the 7th felt especially good for Rizzo, who’s been in a pretty deep slump.
Great win. Great series. Come home.