For about 8 innings, last night was absolutely miserable for Cubs fans. It was a cold night, Lester didn’t have his best stuff, and until Grandpa Rossy singled in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs were without a hit against Brandon Finnegan (who? Exactly.) but then, everything changed.
After a Heyward single chased home 2 runs, the Cubs found themselves down only 1 run heading into the bottom of the 8th, and in that half inning we would all bear witness to some magic. With Jumbo Diaz on the hill in relief for Cincinnati, Addison Russell strolled into the box, hitless on the evening. Then, on the first pitch, Russell smashes a 3 run shot to left, giving the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
In the top of the 9th, Hector Rondon came in to close it out, and would go on to strike out the side, saving the comeback victory for the Cubbies.
What a game that was. Battling to keep the TV on all night, being forced to watch the Cubs play some really lackluster baseball. It was rough. But for those of us who held out hope, this win felt 100000000X better than anyone could have imagined. It was the kind of win that makes you feel like the team has something more to them than just talent. It was one of those games where, if you’re in that dugout, it’s easy to mail it in, get negative, and just wanna go home. But that’s not what you get out of this group. These guys fought tooth and nail to get back into this game. They were patient at the plate, taking lots of pitches, forcing the Reds to get into their bullpen. The guys who came in to pitch after Lester (who did a tremendous job of limiting the deficit as the offense struggled) were tenacious.
Adam Warren, who would get the W, came in after Cahill took over for Lester, and did a wonderful job keeping the score where it was, allowing our guys to take the lead in the 8th. Rondon was magnificent, striking out 3 to close the 9th. It was an awesome performance. A team performance, where everyone stepped up and didn’t quit.
But that’s what we’ve come to expect with Joe at the helm. These guys follow his lead, and remain positive, upbeat, and undeterred. All in all, this was an awesome game, and a great way to open up divisional play for the Cubbies.