What You Need To Know: They were able to finish last night’s game after it was halted due God’s revenge on Noah, and after everyone got a little stretched out, scratched various places, and a good yawn, the Cubs scratched across the winning run on a Ben Zobrist single after the Mets definitely went METS. The full, scheduled game saw the Cubs try and sneak by with Alec Mills and a getaway day lineup. It didn’t go as well.
Next Level: There isn’t much to add on the suspended game. The Cubs got two unconventional double-plays to end the tops of the 10th and 11th. The first was a strike-em-out-throw-em-out from Contreras, and the 11th came to an end when Jesse Chavez induced a liner from Wilmer Flores right into Zobrist’s welcoming leather which left Nimmo stranded off first.
Somehow, Paul Sewald walked Javy Baez to lead off an inning, the first time that’s happened all year. Caratini bunted, and then Sewald, perhaps still lost in a state of ennui over his walk to Baez, fired the throw over to the tarp. If Baez had done his usual, incorrect running while looking over his shoulder, he very well may have scored. It mattered not, thanks to Zobrist.
As for the next game, Alec Mills wasn’t really all that bad. The first inning was rough, and there’s really no reason to throw a pitch outside to Todd Frazier. There’s even less to make a mistake up when doing so, and thanks to that and some walks Mills was down four before anyone had a chance to settle. But he settled in after that, held the Mets scoreless for the next four and at least gave the Cubs a chance. It was a Rosario-Kintzler Axis Of Destruction that turned this one into a laugher. It seems every year the Cubs have a bullpen acquisition that doesn’t work. From Soriano to Smith to Wilson last year. It seems Kintzler is taking that wreath of suck and putting it on his head this term.
– To call it a makeshift lineup would be kind. It saw David Bote at short, finally giving Baez a breather (and for all those who have already packed Addison Russell’s bags out of town, you will have to answer the question of who else can play short next year), Kyle Schwarber returning to the leadoff spot, La Stella starting, and Almora hitting second. So yeah, it was… Picasso-like.
– Speaking of Almora, his ABs have gotten straight up ugly of late. He’s hitting .233 in August after his .222 in July (you have to admire the symmetry, at least). He had a chance to win the first game before Zobrist, and he ended up looking at strike three after being nowhere near the first two. He’s trying to pull pitches on the outside and vice versa, and the adjective “lost” would not be remiss.
– You just had to know that Victor Caratini would grab his first homer on the year when the Cubs were down nine. It couldn’t be any other way.
– I didn’t realize until they mentioned it on the broadcast today, but Willson Contreras is leading the league in innings caught and by something of a distance. I’m sure Maddon is praying the Cubs can keep the roll going, clinch everything with a week or so to spare and send Willy into an ice-bath for four days. It’s a concern, not that Contreras himself would have it any other way.
-Same goes for Rizzo, I’m sure.
Top WPA Play: Happ’s single in the second that drove in Contreras to briefly make it a game. (+.059)
Bottom WPA Play: Frazier’s grand-slam in the first that deflated the whole place like a Whoopi cushion under an orangutan. (-.259)
Lead photo courtesy Jim Young—USA Today Sports