It was another very tense one-run game between the Brewers and Cubs at Wrigley Field Wednesday afternoon. The home team held a lead throughout most of the game only to lose it and then dramatically grab it back in their last at-bat to win the series.
The Cubs took advantage of the outstanding Brandon Woodruff in the opening frame with a walk and a hit by pitch to put two on with nobody out. Ian Happ banged an RBI double off the right field wall and Dansby Swanson added a sacrifice fly to put the home team in front 2-0.
Kyle Hendricks was very good on Tuesday and the only run allowed was unearned due to his own misplay. In the 3rd inning, Christian Yelich hit a tapper in front of home plate and Hendricks fired the throw well wide at first and into the dugout for a two-base error. William Contreras then singled to right to score Yelich and cut the deficit to 2-1.
The two starters were lights-out after that and the score remained the same until the 8th. Mark Leiter Jr. ran into big problems with two outs in the top of that inning giving up a hit and walking two to load the bases. Adbert Alzolay relieved him and hit Mark Canha with a pitch to force in the tying run.
The Cubs escaped that jam with no further damage and began to rally in the bottom of the frame. After a fielding error and a walk, Nico Hoerner bunted the runners over to second and third. The Brewers threw home on a Happ grounder to cut down Christopher Morel for the second out, but Cody Bellinger hit a groundball smash off the foot of pitcher Joel Payamps for a go-ahead RBI infield single. Alzolay used a Yelich double play to navigate the 9th and earn the victory. (Box score)
Cubs take the lead! pic.twitter.com/fUPZhcOSTo
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 30, 2023
After the hit batter, Alzolay kept his composure and was able to retire Brice Turang on a fly ball to strand the bases loaded and maintain the tie.
Why the Cubs Won
They got another excellent start and were able to scrape together just enough offense to win against the dominant Woodruff.
Stats That Matter
- Huge effort from Hendricks to put his team in position to win Wednesday: 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, and 2 BB.
- The Cubs had a grand total of three hits but they made the most of them with two RBI.
- Julian Merryweather was outstanding getting four outs and had nasty stuff.
Facing Woodruff and Corbin Burnes after dropping the first game of the series the odds were stacked against the Cubs. Both co-aces were on point and yet Chicago was able to outduel them and take both games. This series victory kept them alive in the division race and further solidified their position in the Wild Card. This is also more evidence that David Ross and company can hang with some of the best teams in baseball.
The Cubs head to Cincinnati for a four-game set beginning with a doubleheader on Friday at 12:10pm CT. Jordan Wicks makes his second career start against Graham Ashcraft in a matchup airing on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.