The Cubs got a very effective spot-start from Alec Mills, but the offense sputtered early against the Reds. Chicago went ahead by one run late, in the bottom of the 8th inning, only to see it slip away in the 9th. In the end, young David Bote came through again with yet another clutch walk-off home run.
The Reds opened the scoring against Mills in the 2nd inning. Mason Williams hit what appeared to be homer just into the basket in left. After review, it was determined the ball stayed in play and was a double. The next batter, Phillip Ervin hit a double to left to score Williams. That one run would be all Mills allowed in 5 2/3 strong innings of work.
Matt Harvey shut the Cubs down completely for the first five innings, allowing only one hit to the opposing pitcher. The Northsiders finally rallied in the 6th inning. Willson Contreras, Albert Almora, and Daniel Murphy singled to load the bases with one out. Javy Baez made it four singles and plated Contreras to tie the game. Lefty Cody Reed relieved Harvey and coaxed a 1-2-3 double play (after review) against Anthony Rizzo to end the threat.
Murphy came up in the bottom of the 8th inning with two outs and gave the lead back to the Cubs with a solo-homer to right off of Jared Hughes. Pedro Strop came on for the save, but Eugenio Suarez hit a cutter out to left for a game-tying homer.
The game went to extra-innings with Jesse Chavez pitching a clean 10th inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Mr. Clutch, I mean David Bote does what he does best. This time Raisel Iglesias was the victim, as Bote pounded a hanging slider for a walk-off bomb (box score).
Why the Cubs Won
Mills did a great job holding the Reds down early, giving the Cubs time to chip away at the lead. But make no mistake, Bote’s walk-off bomb was the key to this win.
Iglesias had Bote in a quick 0-2 hole, but he got sloppy with a slider. It sat right in the middle of the zone and Bote crushed it onto Waveland Avenue.
Stats That Matter
- Mills was as good as could have been expected: 5.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 8 K, and 1 BB. He got a lot of swings and misses especially on his changeup and two-seam fastball.
- Murphy continues to provide offense for the Cubs with a homer and a single in four at-bats.
- Javy seems to always do something special. Friday it was a walk and the game-tying hit.
This was another big win for the Cubs, who have won three straight right when they needed it. And this Bote kid certainly loves the pressure, which should bode well as the Cubs get in higher pressure games down the stretch run and into the playoffs.
The Cubs look for to secure the series win Saturday at 1:20 pm CT. Jose Quintana and Luis Castillo will be on the hill. The game can be seen on ABC-7.