It’s no secret the Cubs did not achieve their full potential in the first half of the season. However, today the Cubs started the second half on a positive note.
With the first half coming to a close, the Cubbies were hoping to get the second half started off right. Yu Darvish took the mound seeking his first win at Wrigley Field as a Chicago Cub. Darvish has not lived up to his full potential quite yet, posting a disappointing 5.01 ERA and a 2-4 record. He’s trying to change that narrative going forward. On the Pirates side, Chris Archer took the bump with a 5.39 ERA and a 3-6 record.
After being shut down by Chris Archer early on, the Cubs bats came to life in the seventh inning. A botched catch in foul territory by Pirates right fielder Melky Cabrera gave hitter Kris Bryant a new life. Bryant took full advantage of the situation by hitting a line drive bullet into the left-field bleachers. The solo shot was his 18th home run of the year, and it put the Cubs up 1-0.
Later in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and nobody out, Robel Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to right field making it 2-0 Cubs. The Cubs would score again later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk by David Bote to extend the lead to 3-0.
In the top of the eighth, the Cubs late-inning woes peered its ugly head as the Pirates brought the tying run to the plate in Starling Marte. Pedro Strop threw a fastball that was center cut right above the belt and Marte did not miss it. He deposited it onto Waveland Avenue for his 13th home run of the season to tie the game at three.
The narrative this season for the Cubs is that they struggle with runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the eighth inning with runners on first and second and two outs, Jason Heyward hit a single into left field and Kris Bryant scored from second base thanks to great baserunning skills, which put the Cubs back on top 4-3.
After an exhilarating bottom of the eighth, Sweet Child O’ Mine filled the stadium as the fans cheered while Craig Kimbrel took his jog from the left field bullpen to the mound to try and shut the door on this one. Kimbrel was able to get the three outs and hold the lead to close out a wild Cubs win! Fly the W!
PLAYER OF THE GAME
For the first six innings, both starters were flawless as they only allowed a combined three hits. Yu Darvish went six innings, allowing just two hits and no earned runs. Darvish propelled the Cubs to this win and started off his second half on a great note, so he gets player of the game honors.
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