Don’t tell these Cubs that the Phillies have more to play for.
The Cubs’ lineup was owned for the first four innings tonight, with Kyle Gibson perfect with seven strikeouts. But in the fifth the Cubs came out swinging the stick, with Patrick Wisdom and Alfonso Rivas homering, and Gibson was done after the fifth. Quite a turn for a maligned offense, but it got contributions up and down. David Bote was the only positional starter without a hit.
Adrian Sampson had another very 2021-Sampson-like start: lots of hard contact, traffic on the bases, and very little actual damage. The double-plays helped, some well-timed great pitches helped, and (sorry, I still suspect) some very good luck helped. But, hey, credit where it’s due: the guy has gotten good results in his time with the Cubs, even if I can’t quite explain it or project out going forward.
The bullpen was great from there, with only Manny Rodriguez having some struggles (he’s likely to need some more time at Iowa next year). Tommy Nance got three groundouts with his new approach, Scott Effross had the Phillies completely befuddled, and this guy … holy shit this guy: