Wrigley’s wild wind can’t keep Cubs from a win
As Craig Kimbrel closed out the Cubs victory Friday afternoon, the final score betrayed how wild the game actually was.
Or should I say how windy the game was…
Mother Nature played a gigantic role in Friday’s 1-0 Cubs victory. The wind was reported at 9 mph at the start but it was absolutely howling in at Wrigley Field all afternoon.
Case in point:
A fly out by Patrick Wisdom was affected by the wind even more that Pederson's ball earlier at Wrigley: 86 feet in, 34 feet leftward. But I'm sure @whatwouldDOOdo totally meant to let him do that. pic.twitter.com/uTJScrjb75— Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) May 28, 2021
Holy cow, Joc Pederson just hit a fly ball at Wrigley that was blown in 73 feet by the wind, and 32 to the left. No wind, it's an easy homer, but Jesse Winkler caught it for an out. Look at this thing: pic.twitter.com/NCDbdGuWd9— Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) May 28, 2021
The balls were blown back 86 feet and 73 feet? Are you kidding me?
David Bote somehow got one through the teeth of the wind to account for the only run of the game with a 5th inning solo homer. But Patrick Wisdom and Joc Pederson very easily could’ve added to the Cubs’ total if it weren’t for the crazy wind.
“It was as windy as I’ve seen it playing here,” Bote said. “That was one of the tougher winds. More gale force winds than we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
The wind and luck worked in the Cubs’ favor in the 3rd inning as Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart sent one down the right field line. The ball bounced just fair and then skipped over the side wall into the stands near the right field foul pole for a ground rule double. That saved a run, as Tyler Stephenson was forced to remain at third base on the play. The next batter flew out to end the inning and the Reds never scored.
“That was weird,” Bote said. “It was really high and hit the warning track instead of the grass and ended up bouncing over there. That was a well-hit ball. Joc, had one there and Wisdom had one there that was well-hit. This game is a weird game.”
The Cubs and Reds outfielders adjusted throughout the game, moving way in to account for the windy conditions.
To end the 3rd inning, Cubs right fielder Rafael Ortega called off second baseman Eric Sogard for a popup and wound up catching the ball just a few feet shy of the infield dirt. It helped that Ortega was playing way in to begin with.
Adbert Alzolay pitched around traffic (5 hits, 3 walks) to pick up his 3rd win, striking out 6 in 5.2 shutout innings.
“It’s just one of those days [where] you’re gonna have to play small ball, hit and run, steal some bags, bunt, move guys over and then we end up winning by a homer,” a smiling David Ross said. “That’s this crazy game at Wrigley Field.”
Kimbrel picked up the save on his birthday, becoming the first Cub to do so since Jason Motte (June 22, 2015).