The Rundown: Addison Russell Hits Walk-Off Winner, Bryant HR Hits Scoreboard, Hendricks Heating Up, Phil Coke to Be Released
With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field for the second game in a row, we ironically saw another low-scoring affair as the Cubs won 3-2 on a walk-off double from Addison Russell.
This game was looking like we might see yet another frustrating loss after Nationals superstar Bryce Harper hit a wind-blown solo home run to tie the game 1-1 in the 7th. And then Denard Span homered to give Washington a one-run lead in the following inning.
But then Kris Bryant came to the plate in the bottom half of the 8th inning. After I proceeded to throw things around my living room as Bryant went down in the count 0-2, he battled and worked the count full.
(Side note: How many times have we seen this? It’s amazing how often Bryant goes down 0-2 and then works a full count. I’m sure opposing teams hate it.)
Then Bryant hit an absolute moon shot. As soon as he hit the ball, I jumped up off the couch, yelling “It’s going to hit the scoreboard!” And even though I couldn’t tell where it ended up in live time, the ball did indeed end up hitting the video board — fittingly just under the “W” in the Wintrust sign.
Awesome win for the Cubs. Bryant’s home run was probably the highlight, but Addison Russell perhaps had the best game of his young career (3-for-4, game-winning hit, and great defensive play at second base).
He’s heating up
Not to be overshadowed, last night’s starter Kyle Hendricks was outstanding once again. Coming off a five-hit shutout in San Diego, Hendricks didn’t allow a run until Harper’s solo home run in the 7th inning.
Overall, he went 7 innings, giving up four hits and striking out four. He recorded a ton of groundball outs and looked to have a lot of downward movement on his pitches.
It’s good to see the Hendricks we came to love last season.
A little help…
The Cubs win on Tuesday was great and all, but the Nationals made a few big boneheaded plays.
First, with Bryce Harper up to bat in the bottom of the first, Yunel Escobar was caught napping at first base and was picked off by Cubs catcher Miguel Montero.
But Escobar wasn’t done. In the top of the ninth, with Cubs closer Hector Rondon struggling to keep the game tied 2-2, Escobar tried to steal third before Rondon made his pitch. Luckily, Rondon was able to step off and throw him out at third base easily to escape the inning.
Rondon did not look good at all last night. He got away with some bad pitches and gave up a very hard-hit line-drive out to Bryce Harper.
So that baserunning blunder by Escobar was huge.
Then in the bottom of the 9th, Jonathon Herrera hit into a fielder’s choice, but shortstop Ian Desmond tried to get the double play at first and soared the throw into the stands. The error allowed Herrera to reach second base and set up the game-winning run.
Give Chris Coghlan an assist on the bad throw, as he made a nice hard slide into second base, but Desmond probably should have just kept that throw in his back pocket.
McLeod meets the media
Senior Vice President of Player Development and Amateur Scouting Jason McLeod met with the media yesterday and touched on a number of topics:
Cubs have narrowed focus to four players with 9th overall pick in June draft
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 26, 2015
Despite drafting a position player in the first rd of draft last three yrs . McLeod -we will still pick best player regardless of position
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) May 26, 2015
#Cubs McLeod says no plans to move @javy23baez to OF but added It wouldn't be surprising if got some playing time there
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 26, 2015
#Cubs Jason McLeod says Schwarber would be considered for September if big league team needs a bat
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) May 26, 2015
McLeod compared Yoervis Medina to Strop when he was struggling some in Balt. before the light went on.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 26, 2015
McLeod said Pierce Johnson should be ready to make his first start at Double-A this year in the first week of June.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 26, 2015
* LHP Phil Coke, whom the Cubs designated for assignment last week when they recalled LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, has been placed on release waivers and will become a free agent on Thursday, according to Chris Cotillo. At least six teams have expressed interest in Coke, Cotillo said.