The Cubs offense was as hot as a Fourth of July sparkler on Thursday! They were aggressive, putting up 11 runs on the board on 15 hits.
After losing a heart breaker to the Pirates in the ninth inning last game, the Cubs made this one personal. The Cubs had veteran left-hander Jose Quintana (6-7, 4.19 ERA) on the mound. On the Pirates side, Jordan Lyles (5-5, 4.36 ERA) was on the bump.
In the top of the first, just when you thought Lyles was gonna cruise by with a 1,2,3 inning, Kris Bryant hit a towering shot to right center field for his 17th of the year, making it 1-0 Cubs early.
In the top of the second, Albert Almora joined the home run train by hitting his 8th of the year to straight away center field. Almora put the Cubs on top, 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, the white hot bats of the Pirates would tie the game on an RBI double by Jung Ho Kang followed by a RBI sac fly by Elias Diaz to make it 2-2.
In the top of the third, with Bryant at third base, Wilson Contreras pulled a fly ball past the left field foul pole for a two-run home run, his 18th of the year, making it 4-2 Cubs.
In the bottom of the third, the Pirates would come within one on a sac fly by Josh Bell, scoring Kevin Newman, and made it 4-3 Cubs.
In the top of the fourth, Cubs manager Joe Maddon would exchange heated words with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Joe was mad at all of the up and in pitches that the Cubs had been seeing this series. Joe had to be restrained by umpire Joe West. In a press conference with Maddon after the game he joked around about the situation and umpire West, saying “he’d make a nice left tackle”.
After Maddon was ejected in the top of the fifth, a scary moment occurred as David Bote was hit in the head. It appeared to grab only helmet but David, rightfully so, was shaken up. Warnings were issued and there were no further actions.
Three runs would be all the Pirates would get, as Quintana would pitch all the way through the 7th inning allowing only six hits and only the three earned runs.
The Cubs offense would erupt throughout the rest of this game. Putting up a five-spot in the fifth inning and getting two additional runs in the sixth, making it 11-3 Cubs.
The bats were back and the pitching was good too. This was an important game for the Chicago Cubs. As bad as this series had been to this point, the Milwaukee Brewers lost three out of four to the Reds in their series, including a loss yesterday. The Milwaukee slide allowed the Cubs to share first place in the division, despite their struggles. FLY THE W!
PLAYER OF THE GAME
There were many deserving players today for the Chicago Cubs, but one that we cannot over look is Robel Garcia. In making his first career start in the MLB, Garcia almost did something that no baseball player in the majors has ever done before. That is, bat for the cycle in their first major league start. Garcia went 3 for 5 with a home run, a triple, and a single. Garcia was just a double away from the cycle and making history, but a great performance today from the young man nonetheless.
Cubs have an off day on Friday but look to take care of business on the South side against their cross town rivals, the Chicago White Sox. The projected starters are Jon Lester (7-6, 3.89 ERA) and Lucas Giolito (11-2, 2.72 ERA). Giolito has been amazing this season, but struggled against the Cubs last time out. It’s always exciting when these two teams get together and it should be an awesome matchup!
Featured Photo: NBC Sports Chicago