Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/24/19): Cubs 7, Dodgers 6 – Big Homers from Javy, Heyward Lead Comeback

Grateful Dead night at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs leap to two games over .500 for the first time in 2019 as the excellent seasons of Javy Báez and Jason Heyward kept truckin’ like the Doodah Man.

Between a shaky performance from Cole Hamels in which the Cubs starter tied a career high with six walks and a dominant stretch from Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, the Cubs trailed 3-0 into the 6th. However, an exciting and sudden turn of events began with two outs in the bottom half of the inning.

El Mago took Buehler deep to tie the game with a three-run home run and moments later, Jason Heyward did likewise to give the Cubs a 6-3 lead. The inning, which reminded some Twitter users of a 2016-style comeback, was the turning point in the ballgame.

The Cubs extended their lead to 7-3 on an Anthony Rizzo RBI double that would prove critical when Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo blasted his own three-run homer in the 8th to pull the Dodgers within one.

However, the Dodgers couldn’t fight back against Pedro Strop, who entered the ballgame in the 9th and elicited a double play from Justin Turner to notch his third save of the year. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

Excellent at-bats with two outs. Rizzo’s walk in the 6th inning wasn’t the most impressive moment of the game, but it was emulative of the great approach the Cubs demonstrated tonight. He clawed back from a 1-2 deficit to draw a walk on Buehler’s seventh pitch to him, preceding Báez’s home run.

Immediately after that shot and a Dodger pitching change, David Bote ambushed the first pitch lefty Scott Alexander threw, crushing a double to center off of A.J. Pollock’s glove. Two batters later, Heyward went yard.

The two-out hitting clicked in the 7th as well. With two down and Kris Bryant at first following a hit-by-pitch, Rizzo took the third pitch he saw to right-center for a double that scored Bryant and gave the Cubs what would prove to be the winning run.

Key Moment

With the Cubs trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the 6th, Báez crushed a three-run homer off of Buehler to tie the game and end Buehler’s evening. Three batters later, Heyward hit a 2-2 pitch off the outside part of the plate for the Cubs’ second three-run bomb of the inning.

Stats That Matter

  • Hamels walked 6 batters in 5.1 innings, tying a career high.
  • After his eight homer, Baez’s slash line is up to .312/.347/.656(!). He’s better than ever.
  • This will assuredly jinx him, but Brandon Kintzler has been great this season. With his perfect 7th inning today, Kintzler’s ERA is down to 2.61. He allowed three runs in a game against Milwaukee, but otherwise has been totally spotless.

Bottom Line

This one felt good. The Cubs didn’t look stellar for the first six innings of the game with Hamels demonstrating lackluster control and the hitting unable to connect against Buehler. But the bottom of the 6th came along and everything changed. Those home runs from Báez and Heyward will be etched into the memory of all the fans lucky enough to watch tonight’s comeback as both of their great seasons continue to impress and inspire.

Meanwhile, Bryant also took some good cuts and Rizzo continued to get on base one way or another, knocking in one run with a double and scoring another after drawing a critical two-out walk.

And Strop got his third save of the season, bouncing back from his blown save on Sunday’s ballgame.

All-in-all, a great victory against a tough opponent.

On Deck

The Cubs look to complete the sweep of the Dodgers behind their ace. Big Jon Lester returns from the IL to take on Ross Stripling. Lester aims to continue the excellent work his fellow starters have done in his absence. Chicagoland fans can catch the 1:20pm CT game on NBC Sports Chicago, while out-of-market fans can catch the game on MLB Network. Everyone can listen on 670 The Score.

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