Last night in a damp and cold Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds began their three game series with a pitching matchup that featured Tyler Mahle squaring off against Alec Mills. The Cubs were once again without the services of Jason Heyward, who left a game this weekend feeling dizzy and ill. He has still not tested positive for COVID-19. How did things go?
The Cubs rode a two run triple from David Bote (butchered badly by former Cub Nick Casstellanos) and an RBI triple from Javier Baez to a 3-0 victory which, paired with the Cardinals splitting a doubleheader with the Twins, lengthened the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central to three games as the Reds fell further out of the playoff picture. Cincinnati Grieveth and Chicago Exulteth.
Let’s get to this.
Mills. I mean, with a damn night with temperatures in the mid-60s and the wind howling in a pitching tee could have shut out the Reds. Mills basically just had to pitch to contact and he’d be fine. Which he did, and he was.
Baez. His triple was laced into right, and even with the crummy weather he still managed to give one ball a good ride that would have wound up on Waveland Ave without the wind holding it in.
The bullpen. When Mills left after six innings, you know the progression was going to be Duane Underwood Jr., Ryan Tepera and Jeremy Jeffress, and you never thought “oh shit, here we go.” There are actually a few competent guys getting the ball.
Ian Happ, Kris Bryant and Jason Kipnis each struck out three times last night. On a night when nobody’s hitting one out, it’s time to consider shortening up the swing and taking your B-hack and trying to get some singles. Fortunately, the Cubs won in spite of this.
You might be wondering why you are basking in the majesty of Wally Moon’s monobrow. Last night during the game, Len Kasper said that last season Joey Votto saw his streak of games where he got on base at Wrigley Field come to an end, and that it was the longest streak since Moon. Wally Moon belongs next to Andy Etchebarren in Cooperstown in the “Eyebrow Hall Of Fame”.
Tonight these two teams square off again, with a rematch of Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer. Be happy you get to watch it in your nice warm living room.