After the Cubs had a great pitching performance on Friday night, it was the Yankees’ turn to have a terrific start Saturday afternoon. Gerrit Cole‘s outstanding effort was backed by a two-home run game from Giancarlo Stanton and New York was able to even the series.
Drew Smyly continued his recent struggles and gave up a tape-measure solo homer to Stanton in the bottom of the 1st inning. Josh Donaldson continued his dominance of the Cubs left-hander with his own home run in the 2nd, the fourth of his career against Smyly.
Chicago cut the lead in half when newly recalled Miles Mastrobuoni doubled and scored on a Nico Hoerner ground out in the 3rd inning. New York answered right back in the bottom of the frame with a two-run double off the bat of former Cardinal Harrison Bader.
Stanton banged his second home run against Michael Rucker in the bottom of the 5th. It was originally called an RBI triple before video review confirmed it had bounced off the foul pole and the Yankees were ahead 6-1.
Cole rolled into the 8th inning before he tired and allowed a two-run dinger to Mike Tauchman that cut the deficit to 6-3 and ended his day. Michael King came on in relief and got the final five outs to secure the save for the Bronx Bombers. (Box score)
After the Cubs scored in the 3rd, they gave it right back up the next half-inning and never got that close again.
Why the Cubs Lost
The one thing the Yankees do well is hit home runs, and they had three of them Saturday afternoon. That put Chicago in a hole that was hard to dig out of against the other team’s ace.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly has regressed back to his typical career marks with an ERA over four (4.31): 4 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 K, and 4 BB.
- Mastrobuoni was the only Cubs player with two hits on Saturday.
- Cody Bellinger had his 13-game hitting streak snapped.
- Javier Assad tossed three scoreless innings of long relief.
This was a game that looked like a mismatch on paper and it worked out exactly that way. Chicago continues to tread water recently and that’s no way to get back into the playoff race. Smyly’s strong early season performance was always going to be unsustainable but they at least need him to get through five innings, something which has been a problem recently.
The first half ends with a rubber match Sunday at 12:35pm CT. Kyle Hendricks takes on recent perfect game thrower Domingo Germán in a game available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee and 670 The Score.