Game 81 Recap: Cubs 14, Twins 9

The Cubs and Minnesota have met seven times since 1999. And after yesterday’s hot thing resulted in a 10-6 triumph over Jose Raspberríos Beret, the two teams met again to play in the sunshine this afternoon.

Today was supposed to mark Yu Darvish’s return from the disabled list in the latest attempt to convince Gordon Wittenmyer that money don’t matter 2 night. (All the critics love Yu in New York. Not Chicago.) And personally, I was hoping that he would make the start as he is the one member of the Cubs’ roster who fit best into today’s recap theme. For example, the headline would have practically written itself…

Every time I comb my hair
Thoughts of Yu get in my eyes

And if he did well, I might have even convinced BP to go with this one:

Yu Sexy MF*

*Mike Fontenot

Joe Maddon was hoping Darvish would be willing and able to take the hill for the first time since May 20. Unfortunately, the strange relationship with his right arm continued as an elbow impingement led him to be scratched. 

And unfortunately, PJ Mainville was nowhere close to the healing waters of Lake Minnetonka.

Instead, today’s start would instead by taken by… Tyler Chatwood.

Damn U, Joe! Why you wanna treat me so bad?!

I mean, How the hell am I supposed to make Chatwood fit into today’s theme…?

I was dreaming of the next pitch, forgive me if it goes astray.

*Record scratch*

I was dreaming of the next pitch, forgive me if it goes astray.

*Record scratch*

I was dreaming of the next pitch, forgive me if it goes astray.

*Record scratch*

That’ll do.

What U Need 2 Know: That’s what we are, we all want a game bizarre.

On a 91-degree day where just playing baseball seemed like abstract cruelty to all involved, the Cubs outlasted the Twins by playing possibly the least Cubs baseball game of the year. Of the 20 hits the bats recorded, only three were for extra bases. The Cubs put up five runs in both the fifth and seventh innings essentially by stringing base hit after base hit after base hit together.

There were so many singles in this game, the Cubs offense officially qualifies as the Purple Rain soundtrack. Meanwhile, Tyler Chatwood unfortunately remained about as watchable as Under the Cherry Moon.

Today marked his return from the paternity list. I just asked Alexa to find a song from this catalogue that references the babymaking process and my Echo exploded. So then I asked Alexa to assemble a Chatwood playlist for today’s game with Minnesota. She responded with:

“Walk Don’t Walk”


“It’s About That Walk”

“We March”

And here’s the thing… after a rough second inning where he gave up a two-out bases clearing double to Joe Mauer, Chatwood actually raised our hopes by retiring the next nine Twins in a row. But with two outs in the fifth and the Cubs nursing a one run lead, Chatwood again started doing Chatwood things, putting Eduardo Escobar on first with four consecutive bad ones.

And then thanks to a combination of homers and singles, he then gave up four runs before getting the final out and left the inning trailing 7-4. At this point, the Cubs can’t look at Chatwood without thinking “I love U but I don’t trust U anymore.”

Fortunately, no matter what the Twins did, the Cubs still had to bat.

Next Level: As mentioned, the Cubs responded with a flurry of base hits in the fifth to storm back and take the lead. With one out, six of the next seven Cubs singled. And in the middle of that barrage, four consecutive runners went from first to third, setting up the next batter for an RBI. The only out was a sacrifice fly from Ben Zobrist.

When it came down to it, baserunning was the centerpiece of today’s game. Which meant that the spotlight kept finding one player in particular:

Javier Betcha Báez Golly Wow!

With the bases loaded, one out, and the Cubs trailing 3-1 in the third, Zobrist lined a shot to shallow right field. Jason Heyward was leading off third and scored easily and the ball was hit so hard to short right that you could have been forgiven for assuming one run was all the Cubs would get. Except Javy read the ball right off the bat from second base and was charging only a few feet behind Heyward. At third base, I swear the following exchange took place…

BRIAN BUTTERFIELD: Are we gonna let the elevator break us down?

JAVY: El Mago no, let’s go!

Two seconds later, the game was tied.

Later on in the seventh, with the Cubs leading 10-9 and the bases again loaded, Báez grounded sharply off Ehire Adrianze’s glove at shortstop to reach base. And as the ball deflected into short center field, Javy again never broke stride and reached second as two runs scored and Paul Molitor could only remark, “Baby, you’re much too fast…”

Finally, when the first two Twins reached base in the top of the eighth, Escobar floated what looked to be a bases loading single to shallow center. But as has come to be expected from a man whose range is around the world in a day, Báez appeared out of nowhere sprinting to his right and flagged the blooper down several feet onto the outfield grass as the crowd began chanting his name.

Javier Báez should be the NL’s starting second baseman at the All Star Game. This isn’t even a controversy.

Top Play (WPA): With the score tied 9-9 in the seventh, Ian Happ lined a double to right field advancing David Bote to third with nobody out (+.159), setting up the Cubs’ second five run inning of the day. 

Bottom Play (WPA): Eddie Rosario’s homer in the fifth turned a 4-3 Cubs lead into a 5-4 deficit (-.268). Shortly afterward, Rosario became the first of three Twins to leave the game with a heat related illness. So in a way, hitting a ball that forced him to run 360 feet was the dumbest move possible. What the hell, Eddie?

Up Next: The Cubs finish up this stretch of 17 games in 17 days and go for the sweep on my I don’t have to run day (Little known fact: The Bangles apparently dedicated “Manic Monday” to Héctor Villanueva) as Jon Lester opposes Lance Lynn. I’m going to guess Lester would recognize exactly zero song references in this recap.

Lead photo courtesy Dennis Wierzbicki—USA Today Sports

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1 comment on “Game 81 Recap: Cubs 14, Twins 9”


I appreciate a good pun. Yu for you is a lousy pun.

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