Following their series opener loss at the hands of Max Scherzer and the Nationals, the Chicago Cubs bounced back to tie the series. John Lackey battled it out with Gio Gonzalez as both men picked up a no-decision.
Boy, this series has a different feel compared to the one that went down at Wrigley Field. This could very well end up being a preview of a National League Championship Series matchup between the two if they keep playing the way they are.
After being dominated by one of Washington’s (40-25) top pitchers, the Chicago Cubs (44-19) fired back with a leadoff single by Dexter Fowler off Gio Gonzalez in the very first inning of the ballgame.
Gonzalez (3-5, 3.96 ERA) gave up three earned runs on five hits, four walks, and nine strikeouts in tonight’s game. He definitely had Anthony Rizzo‘s number.
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Chicago strung back-to-back-to-back hits with two outs. Lackey lined a pitch out to right-center and moved over to third on Fowler’s 19th double of the season. This pitching staff really does love to hit.
Lackey (7-2, 2.66 ERA) witnessed his 14 inning scoreless streak come to an end when Jason Werth cut into Chicago’s lead with a sacrifice fly out to right field. All three Washington runs came via the sacrifice fly in the home half of the third, seventh, and eighth innings of play.
Joe Maddon‘s right-handed veteran surrendered two earned runs on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in six innings of work before handing things over to Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, and Hector Rondon.
Rondon was issued his first blown save of the season in the eighth inning when Washington tied things up at three-all. Good thing top outfield prospect Albert Almora came through with a clutch hit in the ninth.
Almora entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Wood following David Ross‘s sacrifice bunt that moved Addison Russell over to second. Russell would later come around to score on Almora’s second career double and would be enough to help Chicago pick up their 44th win of the season.