Organizational Recap – Walking Off A Winner
“If Chewbacca had walked more, he would have been named Wookie of the Year.” — Jim Deshaies
It was a cold day in Chicago Thursday and the wind was howling in off the lake, promising to make the contest between the Cubs and the Phillies a low scoring one. In the top of the first John Lackey showed off his veteran craftiness by baiting Odubel Herrera into blasting a hanging curveball into the teeth of that chilly gale to deal a crushing blow to his ego when the ball came to rest in the ivy at the foot of the centerfield wall rather up in the upper bleachers by the scoreboard where it would have had the wind been blowing out. Lackey would exit the frame unscathed, and Herrera’s sense of self was never the same.
J.D. was in rare form early as after the Herrera wannabe bomb he remarked how Maikel Franco was “getting his feet wet at the big league level. But you don’t want to get your feet wet today.” Because, you see, it was cold, and if you got your feet wet they would be cold as well. Maybe very cold. And that would be uncomfortable.
In the bottom of the first the Cubs youth served them well, as it often does. After old geezer Jon Jay got picked off first, Kris Bryant floated a broken bat single to left, and then scored from first on Addison Russell’s opposite field double. Then in the bottom of the second, Albert Almora, Jr. singled, and after advancing to second on Javier Baez’s trying-for-a-hit sacrifice bunt he scored on Matt Szczur’s double.
Lackey would surrender runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to hand the lead over to their guests from the east. But in response the Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the 5th, and Mr. Clutch, Miguel Montero, came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at three.
In the top of the 7th Cesar Hernandez smoked a line drive into left-center off of Justin Grimm, but Jon Jay cut it off and, assisted by a trademark Javy Baez tag, nailed Hernandez at second. Next up Aaron Alther walked, and promptly stole second. J.D., fountain of knowledge that he is, remarked that Montero’s throw was “not strong and offline,” which, coincidentally, I believe is the title of the autobiographical off-Broadway musical that Miggy wrote and produced this off season.
Grimm would escape the 7th unscathed but, tragically, Carl Edwards, Jr’s scoreless innings streak came to an end when Cameron Rupp drove a line drive through the wind into the right field bleachers to give the Phillies the lead. But not to be outdone, Miggy continued to move on from his thespian debacle with a drive of his own into the basket in centerfield to knot up the score again.
The next five innings were a grind. The Cubs would put several runners on the bases but none could circle around to put an end to this protracted duel. But then in the bottom of the thirteenth it appeared that someone found a bit of 2016 fairy dust. Almora hooked a ball into the left field corner and when the Phil’s left fielder bobbled the ball slightly he busted it into second for a double. After a bounce out and an intentional walk, Matt Szczur grounded hard to Casar Hernandez at second base. This may have caused a Caesar overload that caused Freddy Galvis to make a wild throw to first as he attempted to complete the double play and when the ball ricocheted around foul territory Almora ran home to secure the victory.
As the Cubs celebrated on the field J.D. put a cherry on it by stating, “That was a ball Galvis would have done well to eat. But sometimes you try to be a hero, and you end up being a zero.”
My MLB Extra Innings cut out.
AAA – Iowa Cubs
SP – Jake Buchanan – 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO
3B – Chris Dominguez – 3 for 4, HR, 4 RBI
SP – Dylan Floro – 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
3B – Jeimer Candelario – 2 for 3, 2 RBI
AA – Tennessee Smokies
SP – Preston Morrison – 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
3B – Jason Vosler – 3 for 4, 2B
A-Adv – Myrtle Beach Pelicans
SP – Tom Hatch – 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
1B – Matt Rose – 3 for 3, 2B, RBI, 2 R