Javy Báez has been into all sorts of crazy and funny things this week, so why not add a walk-off hit to things? It’s the Cubs’ SECOND STRAIGHT walk-off win against the Indians, who are probably not doing so well tonight. Probably should bring the drone back out in the tenth.
Jon Lester came through five innings successfully (two earned runs) and did not really push anywhere near a pitch limit, but he was pulled in favor of Ryan Tepera for the 6th anyway. It seems likely that David Ross simply felt that Lester was being hit hard (he was) and decided it was time to leave himself well enough alone. Given how well the bullpen has pitched, it certainly seemed like a good call at the time, and it turned out to be the smart move, as Lester̵
Until the end, the story was about the unanswered opportunities for the kids.
The Cubs had a good scoring opportunity in the 7th, runners-up on the second and third without outs to the top of the order. But the Indians brought in James Karinchak, a guy who was in some ways one of the two or three most dominant relievers in baseball, and he knocked Ian Happ and Kris Bryant out and made Willson Contreras jump out.
Still, the bullpen kept the Indians fruitless through the top of the 9th, but the kids went strangely to cold left-handed knife hitters at the bottom of the 9th and sought an advantage with a peloton against the real Cal Quantrill … which has massive inverted splits in year. Each of Jason Kipnis (for Cameron Maybin) and Ildemaro Vargas (for Nico Hoerner) stared at meat fastballs, as cold guys from the bench often do, and subsequently recorded outs. It was really bizarre stuff.
But on the 10th, Jason Adam did not allow the freebie baserunner to score (neck striking Francisco Lindor to finish inning), and then a Kris Bryant single to lead out of the bottom of the 10th set the Cubs in motion. An intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo loaded the bases, and then saved Javy Báez Willson Contreras (strikeout) and Kyle Schwarber (strikeout) with the two-out, two-strike, walk-off single.
Full box score.