We should be anticipating two Game 5’s tomorrow night. Instead, we only get one. Not bad. Let’s be straight to the point. The Giants BLEW IT. Awful. Well done to the Cubs though. You can never count them out.
I wasn’t really rooting for either team in this series. I just wanted to see good baseball. Once the Giants won Game 3, I wanted to see this series come down to 5. And as mentioned already, it should have.
Let’s start with Matt Moore. Hell of a game. He did exactly what he needed to do. He got 8.0 innings into the game shutting down the best team in baseball giving up 2 runs on just 2 hits. He gave the shaky bullpen a 3-run lead with 3 outs to go. Piece of cake, right?
WRONG. It took 5 pitchers to get the final 3 outs for the Giants. 3 of the pitchers only faced one batter.
I’m not trying to take anything away from the Cubs here, the comeback they strung together was like watching art on the diamond. The Giants should’ve been able to keep 4 runs off the board that inning.
Lots of teams would try to hit 3 or 4 home runs if placed in the same scenario the Cubs were in. They did the exact opposite, which is why the comeback was so beautiful.
Bryant and Rizzo do their job and get on base with nobody out. Bochy threw righty Derek Law to Bryant and lefty Javier Lopez to Rizzo. Lopez was pulled for Sergio Romo to face Ben Zobrist. The double Zobrist put into the right field corner was a thing of beauty. He stayed through the ball so well and didn’t try to do too much with it.
Joe Maddon sent Chris Coughlan out to the plate after Zobrist to hit for Addison Russell. Wait, really? Russell has 2 guys in scoring position and had over 90 RBIs this year, why pull him now? Because Joe Maddon had a plan that worked. Really well actually.
A lefty is announced, so Bochy goes to lefty Will Smith out of the pen. Lefty on lefty. Maddon calls Coughlan back, pulling him from the game for Wilson Contreras. He got the match-up he wanted, and Contreras delivered, like Zobrist, with a beautiful swing. He didn’t try to do too much. He took the ball right back up the middle tying the game 5-5.
The next play falls on Brandon Crawford. A bad bunt by Jason Heyward right back to Smith allowed the Giants to get the lead out at 2nd. They had a chance to try to double-up Heyward, until Crawford threw it into passed Belt and out of play. The gold glove short stop makes that play daily. Even if Belt gets pulled off the bag and stops it you still have 1 out and a guy on 1st. Better than 1 out with the go-ahead run on 2nd.
The Javier Baez at-bat was my favorite of them all. He, like the rest, simply took what was given to him and drove it up the middle to bring Heyward in and give the Cubs the 6-5 lead.
This was my favorite because Baez puts everything he has into every swing at the plate. It’s either really good and leaves Wrigley with no signs of landing, or he strikes out swinging out of his shoes. He matured so much as a hitter this year. He got a fastball down in the zone but over the plate and simply put it into center. Well done, Javy.
Now, Hunter Strickland was in against Baez becoming that 5th pitcher in the inning. Strickland is a power guy that can gas up his fastball and combos it nicely with a slider to righties. He starts Baez out with a nasty slider that Baez swung and missed on.
Why on Earth would you bother to throw anything else?
Throw it again. He was clearly looking fastball. Make him adjust. So he throws a fastball and boom, look at that, exactly what he wanted.
A 6-5 lead going to Aroldis Chapman meant game over before he even threw his first pitch at 100 mph. This team is going to be tough to stop from winning the World Series. It shows how important a strong bullpen is in October and how it screwed the Giants.
I feel for Matt Moore. You throw a gem in a must win game to watch it get taken away while there is nothing you can do.
I hope there were kids who want to try to play baseball watching this game to see how the Cubs handled the 9th inning.
I think the thing I loved the most about the game was Theo Epstein being in the stands going nuts for his team. He could’ve had a luxury box to himself away from the Giants fans, but he chose to sit within it all just like the rest of the Cubs fans.
If you didn’t already think this season was magic for the Cubs, what about now?