Talk about completely flipping the story with a swing of the bat! Jason Heyward played hero in the 9th inning, hitting a three-run homer off of JOSH FREAKING HADER to turn a 2-0 shutout loss into a 3-2 Cubs lead. Ildemaro Vargas added his first homer for the Cubs back-to-back with Heyward for good measure.
I had a whole post written and have now deleted because of that 9th inning. Just a slice of what was GOING to be the intro:
All I really need to tell you is that the Cubs have scored just 8 runs in their last 41 innings – and all 8 of those runs came in one game. It has been something magnificently godawful at the plate for the Cubs lately.
Ignore all that. The Cubs won tonight, so the offense is clearly totally fine and fixed.
Kyle Hendricks was fantastic for 7.2 innings tonight, allowing only a two-run homer to Ryan Braun (on a terrible pitch), albeit right after Kris Bryant failed to catch an extremely catchable foul ball. Otherwise, Hendricks was just brilliant. Bonus props to Jason Adam for striking out Christian Yelich with a runner on base in the 8th to preserve Hendricks’ line.
And then the 9th went to Craig Kimbrel for a real save opportunity. He gave up two singles to open the inning – they were both really good pitches, though! – but then struck out old friend Daniel Vogelbach to ease the tension, got Ben Gamel to ground out, and then got a soft liner from Orlando Arcia to end it.