On a warm and muggy evening at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing directly into center field, the Giants hit four home runs off the Cubs’ pitching.
Fortunately, the Cubs had a more diversified offense that included multi-run homers by Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morrell as well as 13 other hits, with the most runs scored in two multi-run innings. The Cubs eventually held on to defeat the Giants 11-8.
LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a home run. Kyle Hendricks’ first pitch out of the yard for a home run. The idea was “Oh,” and the Giants scored single runs in the second and third innings, including another home run, the one hit by Mike Yastrzemski.
So San Francisco had a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third, but that’s when the Cubs’ batters got to work.
Nico Horner led with one out and one out later, Cody Bellinger also singled, with Nico finishing second.
Dansby Swanson made it 3-1 (Video).
Seiya Suzuki single-handedly loaded the bases and walked Jimer Candelario to make it 3-2 (VIDEO).
You can hear how loud the voices are in this clip. In both games of this series so far, the fans have been really into the game. It’s great to see.
After that walk, Yan Gomez doubled the Cubs lead (video).
Hendrix ran through fourth and fifth without incident, aided by a great play by Horner (VIDEO).
Hendrix hit trouble in the sixth inning with a pair of doubles before the inning that again tied the game at 4-4. After Blake Sabol struck out — for the third time — David Ross lifted Hendricks after just 83 pitches. I’m not entirely sure I understood that, unless Hendrix said he was about to finish. True, he just gave up two long extra base hits, but… it got worse when the next Giants hitter, JD Davis, grounded Hayden Wisniewski. The Giants now lead 6-4.
All things considered, I thought Hendrix threw better than his last line, especially on a windy night.
Drew Smyly was called on to throw the seventh and here the platoon advantage was taken to an extreme by both managers. Four of the Giants’ first five batters were left-handed. So, Smyly – except Smyly has reverse splits this year. Including this game, LHB has .965 OPS against Smyly, and RHB has 0.782 OPS.
So what does Gabe Kapler do? Yes, he sends two right-handed hitters. They both exited. After Smillie walked Wilmer Flores, Jock Pederson grounded him with a left hand. Kapler then fielded another right-handed PH, Patrick Bailey. Smiley hit him.
Do these managers actually read the numbers?
Anyway, the game was still 6-4 Giants heading into the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Swanson walked. Suzuki, who had already got two hits, puts one in the stands to tie the game at 6-6 (Video).
The ball bounced into the backcourt of the stands and ended up in Waveland.
Candelario hit a ball too high to the left and Jock Pederson misjudged it due to the wind. It has fallen untouched to double. Gomez scored his third goal of the match, moving Candelario to third place.
Then this happened (video).
It was a good touchdown and a throw that Candelario got, but the ball bounced wide and he was safe, giving the Cubs the lead.
Christopher Morell, the third batter Ross had in the DH spot in this game, is the next batter. (video).
That ball has been crushed! (video)
It was Morrell’s 20th year – in just 89 games.
The Cubs now have a four-run lead, but nothing looks safe this inning. Mark Leiter Jr. came in to throw the eighth and promptly gave up two powerful hits, a double and a single, to make it 10-7. After a ground clearance, Jose Coas entered the match. He is beginning to enter Ross’ circle of trust. He did catch one short ground ball, but another similar fielder was sacked by Swanson, a rare error for him. Cuas got hitter Casey Schmitt to fly to right to end the inning.
Cuas, who had major control and drive issues when he first came to the Cubs, has now not walked a batter in his last five innings covering 4⅔ innings. In those five games, he faced 16 batters and retired 15 of them, allowing only one hit.
The Cubs put one more on the board in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Swanson singled and was awarded second on a foul. This lead lead was important, because Suzuki picked him up with his fourth stroke of the game (Video).
This is Suzuki’s second four-hit game of the year and the third of his MLB career. September started brightly, with a six-game hitting streak in which he hit .440/.482/.960 (11-for-25) with four doubles and three home runs.
Nothing is ever easy, of course. With a four-run lead, Julian Meriwether entered to close things up, and promptly built a three-run lead by hitting a home run to Flores. A picnic followed, then a strike, and then this (video).
The double play gave the Cubs their third straight win and put them in a season-high 11 games over . He also clinched the season series on the Giants, should the tiebreaker start—which may not happen, as the Giants now trail the Cubs by five games and have lost five straight.
Historical note: The Cubs have now scored 10 or more runs 22 times this year. That’s the most for any Cubs team since 1935, when they did it 24 times. They’ve now scored 708 points this year, which is the most for the team since 2019 (814). That translates to 5.09 points per game, a pace of 825, which would be the most for a Cubs team since 2008 (855).
Other teams the Cubs are chasing/leading in postseason races:
- The Brewers won, so the Cubs stayed two and a half games behind in the NL Central.
- The Phillies lost, so the Cubs moved within one game of them to take first place in the Wild Cards.
- The Reds won. The Cubs continue their three-game lead as Cincinnati moves into third place for the Wild Cards.
- The Marlins won and trailed the Reds by half a game and the Cubs by three and a half games.
- The Diamondbacks lost and trailed the Cubs by four complete games.
The Cubs will go on to sweep the Giants for three games Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Jordan Wicks would go on to start for the Cubs and Alex Wood would go to the Giants. The match time is 1:20 PM Cairo local time and the TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.