That felt like a playoff game. I just hope that when it is a playoff game the Chicago Cubs (87-48) don’t make the same type of ugly plays that ultimately cost them the game.
The biggest three missteps, arguably, happened in the top of the sixth inning.
With the Cubs trailing 2-1, Brandon Crawford singled with one out. He stole second, easily beating the Contreras throw that ended up in center field. The very next play, Crawford took off for third as Arrieta, who was holding the ball and looking for the sign from Contreras, somehow didn’t see him run. He easily jogged in without a throw.
Jake uncorked a wild pitch on the very next play and, like that, the Giants scored what ended up being the game-winning run. The Cubs battled hard today but they fell just short, 3-2 (Box Score).
Javier Baez is so exciting, there’s just no question. He is a baseball warrior. Such an incredibly talented player to watch. In the bottom of the fifth inning he showed exactly why.
With the Cubs struggling to get any offense going, Javy opened up the Cubs half of the fifth with a lead-off single. Once on base, he began to wreak havoc.
Baez stole second base as Matt Szczur, who struck out, was batting. Jake Arrieta was up next and on the first pitch he hit a swinging bunt to the third base side of the diamond. Javy hustled towards third as Giants’ third baseman, Eduardo Nunez, ran past the ball. Baez never hesitated, scoring all the way from second base on the play.
It was a pivotal play at the time that saw the Cubs cut the lead in half.
The Cubs had ample scoring chances in the following innings, including having the bases loaded, but couldn’t capitalize in those situations. They were moments they’ve been taking advantage of all season.
Stats that mattered
- Jake Arrieta pitched a great game – 6.0IP, 3R, 4H, 2BB, 7Ks, 103 pitches
- The bullpen – Cahill, Grimm and Wood – combined for three innings of no-hit baseball
- Javy was a beast and showed some tremendous hustle – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, SB, SF
- Kris Bryant continues to click – 2-for-5
The Cubs played a scrappy game today but just made too many mistakes to overcome. It was the type of game you hate to lose but it’s one that is better lost during the season than in the playoffs. In other words, I’m glad this happened now and the Cubs can learn from it.
The Cubs will be going for the series win on Sunday as they close out the three-game set against the Giants. Jahn Lackey (9-7, 3.41 ERA) is scheduled to return from the disabled list to make the start tomorrow.