Chicago Cubs walk-off behind Starlin Castro’s knock


After blowing lead, Cubs rally yet again 

Facing the best closer in Major League Baseball in Craig Kimbrel, the Chicago Cubs’ offense came through in the bottom of the 11th inning to complete a late rally after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth as the North Siders topped the San Diego Padres 7-6 at Wrigley Field Saturday.

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After retiring Cubs’ outfielder Jorge Soler to lead off the frame, Kimbrel issued a six-pitch walk to Anthony Rizzo, who promptly stole his second base of the game, putting himself in scoring position. Star prospect Kris Bryant stepped to the dish with a chance to win the game, instead beating out a soft grounder for an infield single, giving Chicago men on the corners with one out.

The San Diego right-hander opted to walk pinch-hitter David Ross, in hopes of setting up the inning-ending double play, but the plan backfired when the next batter, Starlin Castro, lined a ball through the left side, scoring Rizzo and giving Chicago a big win.

Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks started out the game with a rough first inning serving up a two-run homer to Matt Kemp, but from there, the sophomore put it on cruise control. Despite being left with a no-decision, Hendricks set down 14-straight at one point as part of a six-inning, three-hit effort in which he tallied eight punchouts and issued no walks.

Trailing 2-1 after a Yonder Alonso error allowed Jonathan Herrera to score in the fifth, Bryant stepped in and delivered a bloop single to center that scored Dexter Fowler, tying the game and giving the Cubs third baseman his first big league hit and RBI.

In the bottom of the sixth, catcher Miguel Montero tagged a fastball, sending it deep to left-center for his first home run of the season – and his first as a Cub. He wasn’t done there, as he added an insurance blast in the seventh – this time to right-center – as part of a three-run frame for Chicago that extended their lead to 6-2.

Bottom of the sixth Miguel 

After an eventful eighth inning, San Diego roughed up the Chicago bullpen, including closer Hector Rondon, in the ninth, scoring four times to tie the game 6-6. Saturday marked the end of Rondon’s save conversion streak – which stood at 17 games.

What Stood Out:

After a rough MLB debut at the plate – Kris Bryant was very good today.  In his first game, he appeared anxious and swung the bat freely. Saturday, he was the exact opposite showing great patience at the dish, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three walks.  He did commit an error on the very first play of the game but after that he was fine defensively.  It should be expected to have these jitters to start.

On the hill, Hendricks is the one you have to feel the worst for.  He dominated the Padres after the first inning and received a no-decision, despite his great performance.  Even if he didn’t get the win – I’m sure he’s more than happy that the team was able to rally back to get the ‘W.’

What’s Next:

Tomorrow for the rubber match, it will be a good one with the Chicago Cubs (6-4) putting Jon Lester (0-1, 7.84) on the mound against the Padres (7-5) and former Cub Andrew Cashner (0-2, 4.09).

There is a chance for rain tomorrow so keep checking in at Cubbies Crib for any new information on the game status.

Weather permitting, the first pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT and can be seen on WGN and MLB Network.

Next: Bryant-less Iowa Cubs fall 3-2 in home opener