For the second time in less than a week, the Cubs were able to force their (NL Central) opponent to stick a position player on the mound in the 9th inning because the game was too far gone! I love it!
Tonight’s position player – Mike Brosseau – actually looked surprisingly good and faced just one more than the minimum before heading back to the dugout. He even elicited a chuckle out of Patrick Wisdom, who whiffed on an apparent breaking ball.
Though that’s hardly the highlight of tonight’s game. That honor goes to … the bullpen.
Yep, after a game in which the Cubs scored 8 runs on 11 hits, 3 walks, and just six strikeouts, it is the bullpen that deserves all the love. In relief of an injured Kyle Hendricks (more on his early exit right here), Matt Swarmer, Rowan Wick, and Michael Rucker each tossed 2.0 innings of work, with Rucker giving up the only earned run.
Wick deserves some extra love for coming into — and getting out of — a bases loaded, no-out situation in the 6th, before breezing through a 1-2-3 7th inning. But they were all excellent and helped the Cubs cruise to a victory tonight.
But I won’t let the offense go to sleep without any special shoutouts.
Let’s play the train game: Rafael Ortega was on base three more times tonight, and was part of a really fun double-steal with Ian Happ. Happ was on base twice, hitting an RBI double, and being scored on Seiya Suzuki’s RBI single. Suzuki hit another home run as part of a 2-5 night with 3 RBI. And he was followed by Patrick Wisdom, who notched two hits to move into sole possession of the team lead in multi-hit games (at least, that’s what Boog and JD said on the broadcast … it kind of boggled my mind, too).
So aside from Hendricks departing early — and David Bote fouling-out on a bunt with two strikes (I wonder how that shoulder is …) — tonight was a great win. Now I just wish they could’ve held onto that exciting comeback yesterday ….
Full Box Score.