What You Need to Know: It wasn’t quite a slugfest at PNC Park Thursday night. Gerrit Cole and Jose Quintana traded zeros like a pair of Wall Street executives. For Quintana, it was the second-best start since joining the Cubs, in terms of game score (ver. 2). He recorded 68 over six scoreless innings. Cole, meanwhile, recorded a masterful two-hit, eight-strikeout performance over eight shutout frames, despite walking four, en route to an 84 game score, the third-best mark in his entire career.
The game’s deciding run was scored by pitcher/pinch runner extraordinaire
Alec Mills Leonys Martin, who was driven in by a rare Alex Avila triple.
It was the second time the Cubs won despite collecting three or fewer hits this season. Both of those games were against the Pirates, and the former UCLA Bruin was the starter for Pittsburgh on both occasions, no less. Those two games were the only games in Cole’s career in which he tossed seven-plus, two-hit-or-fewer innings but the Pirates didn’t manage to win.
The Next Level: Okay, let’s talk about this:
Well, maybe nobody saw? pic.twitter.com/htdfm63tO2
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 7, 2017
How did he do it? How is it even possible? As Len Kasper said on the broadcast, you wouldn’t be able to do it even if you tried it 100 times. YouTubers all over the Internet are jealous of Happ’s marvelous tripping-over-a-bat technique. You know, as the saying goes, you’ll never know
what HAPPens next.
Top Play (WPA): Avila’s go-ahead triple (+.371) was by far the game’s most crucial play, with more than twice the clout of the next-most crucial one (Jose Osuna’s low-line drive/short hop double play in the sixth).
Bottom Play (WPA): When David Freese reached with a single to lead-off the sixth, it reduced the Cubs’ win probability by 7.6%. (-.076)
Lead photo courtesy Charles LeClaire—USA Today Sports