Chicago Cubs rally for unbelievable extra-inning win over Brewers
By Jake Misener
Kris Bryant delivered a game-winning two-run shot in the tenth to propel the Chicago Cubs to an extra-inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday.
After dominating through the first six innings, the Chicago Cubs coughed up a lead late. Heading to the top of the ninth, the Milwaukee Brewers held a 3-2 advantage. But Javier Baez delivered with a two-out, two-strike single to tie the game and send it to extras.
In the bottom of the inning, Wade Davis worked his way out of an improbable situation, leaving the bases loaded with a ground ball back to the mound. In the top of the tenth, Kris Bryant helped deliver the win for Chicago (85-67).
Even trying to put this game into words is near-impossible. But, you know the highlights. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this chaotic carnival ride.
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In the bottom of the seventh, Eric Sogard singled with two on off Pedro Strop to tie the game and end Jake Arrieta‘s chance at a win in his first start off the disabled list. The right-hander allowed one earned on five hits over five innings of work, doing his part to get the team a win in the opener.
He also tested his hamstring on a 3-6-1 double play that few others in the league could have made as he raced over to cover first. All told, Arrieta was lights-out Thursday night.
Fast-forward to the eighth. With one out and a runner at third, Eric Thames shot a ball past the pulled-in Cubs infield, scoring the go-ahead run and giving Milwaukee its first lead of the ballgame by a 3-2 margin. At that point, I was ready to chalk it up in the ‘loss’ column and focus on tomorrow’s ballgame.
Drama-filled ninth inning
The ninth was eventful, to say the least. Ian Happ beat out an infield single to second. The Brewers challenged the call and it was upheld by the umpiring crew. After an Addison Russell strikeout, he advanced to second on a groundout.
Then, Javier Baez delivered. After going down on a knee with his first two swings, the young infielder shortened up and grounded a ball through the hole on the left side, tying the game and sending the Cubs’ bench into euphoria.
Davis entered in the ninth, relieving Justin Grimm. With one out, Neil Walker singled off Grimm. The Cubs closer hit Ryan Braun and allowed a single to Travis Shaw, loading the bases with still just one away. But, with ice in his veins, Davis delivered. he struck out Domingo Santana and got a soft grounder to the mound to end the threat – sending things to the fateful tenth.
The highlight reel will undoubtedly show Bryant’s homer again and again. But don’t overlook the night Jon Jay turned in out of the leadoff spot. In fact, he was along for the ride on Bryant’s blast in the tenth after leading off the inning with a double.
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Chicago and Milwaukee continue this showdown series Friday night at Miller Park. The Cubs dropped the magic number to six with the win in the opener and, no matter what, will lead the NL Central at the end of the weekend.
John Lackey (11-11, 4.62) starts for the Cubs against Brandon Woodruff (2-2, 3.28). First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. CT.