After Kris Bryant lit up the Cincinnati Reds with three home runs and five RBI on Monday, the Chicago Cubs managed to survive extra innings. They played musical chairs with a few bullpen arms and shut down their NL Central rival to win 7-2.
Welp, tonight’s game will be one that the Chicago Cubs will remember all season. Skipper Joe Maddon made a few questionable lineup changes during the late half of this game that entered the 15th and to our surprise, they totally paid off in the end.
At one point, Maddon brought in former Cincinnati Reds southpaw Travis Wood into the game during the home half of the 13th, plugging him out in left field. This resulted in Chris Coghlan exiting the game while Joel Peralta was summoned from the bullpen to take over for Trevor Cahill.
It totally paid off. With Cincinnati threatening with a few runners on, second baseman Ben Zobrist made a leaping grab to record the second out and flipped it over to Javier Baez for the third out to complete a double-play.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
- Cubs might start to limit Justin Steele’s workload soon
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
Tonight’s starter, Jon Lester (9-3, 2.03 ERA), was absolutely lights out for the visiting Cubs (50-26) and added to his own cause by driving in a run in the fifth inning.
Lester held the Reds (29-49) to one earned run on three hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and one big fly in 7 2/3 innings before Joe pulled him from the game. He received an early 1-0 lead when Zobrist launched a lead-off home run in the top of the first inning off starter, John Lamb.
Speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton brought his team within one run in the eighth inning on a solo home run to left field. It was Hamilton’s third home run of the season that helped spark this late Cincinnati rally.
Hector Rondon came in for relief but would blow yet another save after allowing third baseman Eugenio Suarez knotted things up at two apiece with an RBI single out to left field. Brandon Phillips, who was hit in the ribs by Rondon, avoided a tag by David Ross.
Chicago struggled to record a base hit until Jason Heyward‘s single in the 15th. Heyward’s hit pushed Zobrist over from first to third with Kris Bryant due up next.
Bryant came through with the go-ahead RBI single and came around to score on a grand slam off the bat of Baez.