The Chicago Cubs were looking to draw even in their series against the Washington Nationals, after losing the first game of the three-game set on Monday. Justin Steele was very good, earning a quality start and leading the Cubs to victory.
The Cubs were up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning. Nelson Velazquez narrowly missed a home run, doubling off the top of the wall to drive in Franmil Reyes in the 2nd inning. In the top of the 4th, Seiya Suzuki would score on a double by Nico Hoerner. Then, with two outs, P.J. Higgins singled to score Hoerner. Reyes would strike again in the top of the 6th inning with a 418-foot solo home run.
Steele gave up one run, due mainly to a throwing error at second base, but was solid otherwise and left after six innings with a 4-1 lead.
Erich Uelman and Rowan Wick were both shaky in relief, with each giving up solid contact, allowing three runs combined. The Nationals pushed the game into extra innings.
The Cubs managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat in extras. A double by Patrick Wisdom and a single by Seiya Suzuki in the top of the 11th was enough to give the Cubs a lead they wouldn’t squander. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
A solid start by Steele gave them a chance. Timely hitting in extra innings gave them the win.
Eye on the Future
- Steele was exceptional, once again: 6.0 IP, 5 H 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K
- Nico Hoerner stays hot: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2B
The Cubs continue to scrap together wins following the All-Star break. The bullpen wasn’t great but combined they managed to pull out the win over five pretty ugly innings. After the bullpen selloff at the trade deadline, implosions like this may become the norm rather than the exception as the season progresses.
The Cubs look to win their fourth straight series on Wednesday at 12:05pm CT. Drew Smyly will go up against former Cub Cory Abbott in a game that will be broadcast on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee Sports Network, and 670 The Score.