Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, Padres 3 – June 1, 2021
The Cubs just won again against a very good team because, surprise, they are also a pretty good team!
Outside of one inning, Kyle Hendricks looked fantastic tonight. He wasn’t getting the low strike called – no one was – but he was still successfully working down in the zone to get grounders AND at the very top of the zone to get some weak air contact. Absolutely loved what I saw from Hendricks tonight. Except for, like I said, that one inning. In it, he gave up two dingers on elevated changeups – bad, Kyle! bad! – and also a hard single by the opposing pitcher on a meatball fastball that he was hunting. The Kyle Hendricks Home Run Inning has been a thing, intermittently, for years now. I would like it to go away soon, because it has the power, alone, to turn a fantastic night into a merely passable one.
Still, it was enough to leave the Cubs with the lead thanks to the two-run homers by Patrick Wisdom and Willson Contreras, which meant David Ross got to do his preferred 7-8-9 of Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel, locking down the one-run victory. And Kimbrel, man. Well, I’ll put it in the EBS.
Sheesh, Craig.#CubTogether pic.twitter.com/9PYh5peulf
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 2, 2021
Kris Bryant more or less saved a run in right field, by the way, so maybe you can credit him with a hold or a save, too. Earlier in the game, Bryant looked very good and smart by aggressively and quickly and accurately playing a Manny Machado ball off the basket in right field. He got the ball in quickly enough that Machado, who wasn’t loafing but also wasn’t busting it, was held to a single on a ball that was within a centimeter of leaving the park. Given what followed, it was highly likely that if it had been a leadoff double, Machado would’ve scored. Just your daily reminder that Kris Bryant is playing like an MVP in so many ways.
Great win. Again. And the atmosphere at Wrigley Field was once again as intense as I can remember in the regular season, 60% capacity or not. It’s making me emotional just to feel it.