IT’S A SERIES WIN! AGAINST A GOOD TEAM! ON THE ROAD! AND A FEW INCHES AWAY FROM A SWEEP! I’M ALLOWED TO BE HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!
It’s the first Cubs series win since the opening series of the year, which included a postponed game, so you could argue that even that wasn’t a series win (yet). Thus, today is very special, relatively speaking …
The Cubs couldn’t hold onto an early lead thanks to a combination of defensive failings and dingers, but Alfonso Rivas came through in a huge spot in the 8th to give the Cubs the lead and the win.
A clutch homecoming for Alfonso Rivas! pic.twitter.com/iSlkW8uLnt
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 11, 2022
Keegan Thompson was acceptable(?) in his start today, not looking nearly as dominant as he does in his long relief outings (we’ve seen this before), but also getting more whiffs than he did last year when starting (though ultimately only one strikeout). There was a bit too much loud contact on pitches left over the middle, but I don’t think he was bad. Just not as good as we’ve seen him.
The Cubs lost Nico Hoerner early in the game after a collision with the oblivious second base umpire, so that’s a concern.
Things got ridiculous in the bottom of the 6th, when Hoerner’s replacement at shortstop, Ildemaro Vargas had three straight brutal plays in the field that loaded the bases (incredibly, without an “error”) off of Scott Effross. And when Effross, through his own efforts, was a strike away from getting out of the jam unscathed, Jake Cronenworth reached his bat back a little extra, clipped Willson Contreras’s glove, and the catcher’s interference scored a run. (That was the *second* Cronenworth interference call of the series (other on Yan Gomes), so clearly it’s something he does.) Basically, Effross recorded seven outs in the inning. Guy deserves a freaking medal.
Mychal Givens followed Effross by doing something we’ve seen from him before: looking dominant in the same inning he gave up homer(s). One of them was Eric Hosmer, who KILLED the Cubs this series. Probably shoulda traded for him.
Anyway, that’s how the game was tied in the 8th and set up Rivas’s hero moment, and Rowan Wick closed out the final two innings (with a Wil Myers would-be-game-tying shot in the 9th coming a Schwindel-like few feet short). Great game from Willson Contreras, who set up that rally with a leadoff hit, and a fantastic at bat from Frank Schwindel that gave the Cubs their early lead (11-pitch double off the center field wall).