Coming off a second consecutive failed ninth-inning rally, at least the Cubs knew that they wouldn’t face a third thanks to the new 7-inning doubleheader format. The Cubs never trailed in this one, getting six shut-out innings from Yu Darvish and just enough offense for the win. Jeremy Jeffress pitched a workman’s seventh for the save.
Speaking of Darvish, he was really good in this one. In what had the feel of a must-win game (aren’t they all these days?), the Cubs needed a big game from their ace, and they got it. His line on the day was 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO. He wasn’t as dominant as he has been in some starts this year, but his 104-pitch outing dropping his ERA on the season to a ridiculous 1.47. Where would the Cubs be this season without Yu?
As good as Darvish was, Anthony Rizzo was the real star. The Cubs offense has been inconsistent at best (and that’s being kind). They didn’t get much today, but Rizzo’s two home runs felt like the Sandberg game based on how things have been going lately. Two home runs out of one of their stars is precisely what they need, but to do so against Trevor Bauer, who has been one of the best in the business this season, it was really outstanding.
Javier Baez showed signs in the Tigers series that he was coming out of his slump, but today was just ugly. In his two strikeouts, he looked lost. It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: the Cubs need Baez to turn it around if they have any prayer at success in October.
Alec Mills takes the rubber for the Cubs in Game 2 of the doubleheader. He will be apposed by Tejay Antone. Winning Game 1 takes some fo the pressure off. A doubleheader sweep is always tough to swallow, but here’s hoping the Cubs bust out the brooms in the nightcap.
Featured Photo: Rob Leiter/Getty Images
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