The Cubs were looking to salvage the final game of what had been an ugly series against the White Sox at Wrigley when the two teams met Sunday. Luckily for the home team, starter Yu Darvish was every bit the ace his squad needed to win.
José Abreu hit his sixth homer of the series against Darvish in the 2nd inning, a deep shot to left that turned out to be the only mistake the Cubs starter would make Sunday.
Former Cubs farmhand Dylan Cease outdueled his counterpart early, keeping his former team off the board through five. The Cubs stranded multiple baserunners yet again as their offensive frustration grew, with another futile bases-loaded effort making it look as though they’d never score again.
Kyle Schwarber finally broke the dam in the 6th inning when he blasted a go-ahead two-run homer to center that was all the scoring they’d muster. It was all they’d need, since Darvish ended up going seven strong innings with 10 strikeouts.
Craig Kimbrel got the 8th and struck out the first two batters he faced before walking two. Jeremy Jeffress took over and got Eloy Jiménez to end the inning. Jeffress took the 9th too and loaded the bases with two out. This time, it was the Sox who struggled in that situation as Yoan Moncada grounded out to end the game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Darvish had little margin for error with the Cubs’ offensive issues of late, but he was terrific and was the main reason his team won the game.
Javy Báez doubled in the 6th inning with one man down and came into score when Schwarber jumped on a Cease mistake to give the Cubs a lead.
Stats That Matter
- Darvish is having an awesome 2020: 7 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 10 K, and 1 BB.
- Schwarber had a double in addition to his homer.
- Kimbrel actually looked very good despite the two walks, earning several swings and misses with the curve.
The Cubs went 5-7 on their 12-game homestand and should be glad they did that well. The entire team seemed to go into a slump at the same time, though maybe a trip to Detroit is just the thing to snap them out of it.