Philadelphia and the Cubs split the 4-game series at Wrigley Field this week amidst a playoff atmosphere. Pretty rare to experience that October feeling in May. No one would be surprised if these two teams are facing off when it’s win or go home.
The series began with a homecoming. The loud standing ovation when Jake Arrieta took his first at bat as an opposing player in Wrigley Field was a beautiful moment on an emotional night. Jake battled the man who the Cubs signed to replace him in the rotation, Yu Darvish. Both pitched well and the game wasn’t decided until late. Daniel Descalso rocketed a crazy 2-run triple to right field and scored on a throwing error to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead in the 8th. (Note: Ron Coomer predicted Descalso’s opposite field drive moments before it happened. Coomer’s is in the upper echelon of Chicago’s analysts, but I plan an entire story about him coming soon to greesechicago.com.) J.T. Realmuto’s 10th inning homer was the deciding factor in an back-and-forth game 1. The Cubs took game 2 thanks to a Kirk Gibson turn by Javier Baez. Javy had been sidelined with a sore heel suffered on a El Mago assist on Sunday in D.C., but he came out swinging in a pinch-hitting role. Javy lined the first pitch he saw down the right field line for a walk off based-loaded RBI single. Cubs win 3-2. Wednesday night the Phils jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a gorgeous night at Wrigley Field. Anthony Rizzo launched a 3-run homer into Kyle Schwarber territory – the Budweiser sign atop the right field scoreboard. The baseball broke the “d” in Bud and tied the game . Budweiser made a donation to the Rizzo Foundation in the amount of the repair cost. The power surge didn’t end there. Albert Almora Jr. crushed his first career grand slam and Wrigley was rocking. Cubs win 8-4. Jon Lester didn’t have it Thursday afternoon, which will happen during the course of a season. At one point the Cubs were down 7-0. But these Cubs, like the 2016 team, never seem out of it. Rizzo hit a two-run single. Schwarber blasted a two-run homer. Rizzo followed with a laser beam solo shot. Tyler Chatwood, pinch-hitting as the bench wore thin, lined an RBI double in the 9th and the Cubs looked to be in business. Unfortunately, the rally fell short and Philly survived 9-7. But this series won’t be forgotten. We might be watching highlights in preparation for a rematch this fall.
Reds come to town today for a 1:20 start. Let’s get one.
Bulls guard Ryan Arcidiacono took in Wednesday’s game. The Philadelphia native and Villanova hero undoubtedly was pulling for his hometown Phillies.