Cubs put together late offensive explosion to pick up crucial win
The Cubs understand how important wins are right now in the schedule.
It took a bit, but the Cubs rallied to pull out an all-important victory over the Nationals Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
After Washington scored the first 3 runs of the game, the Cubs plated 17 unanswered tallies, with 6 runs coming in the bottom of the 7th inning and 8 more in the 8th.
“It’s just nice to see after guys going through a little bit of hard work and trying to fix some things mechanically and approach-wise, just to throw a bunch of knocks out there,” David Ross said. “These guys [have been] putting in a lot of work and grinding a little bit lately so it’s nice for that to break open and be able to add on for sure.”
Coming off his best start of the season, Jameson Taillon had an 11-day break and surrendered 3 runs in his first 2 frames. But he settled in from there, shutting down the Nationals the rest of the way and coming an out shy of a quality start.
It was enough time for the Cubs offense to get rolling, beginning with a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly in the 4th inning.
In the 6th, Seiya Suzuki homered and Ian Happ followed with a single, stole second and came around to score on an errant throw on Cody Bellinger’s infield single.
The Cubs not only took the lead in the 7th but poured it on. The first 5 batters in the frame collected hits, beginning with Patrick Wisdom obliterating his team-leading 17th homer:
By the time the dust settled, the Cubs had opened up a 9-3 lead.
The 8th inning was even more impressive, as the Cubs sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 8 runs without an extra-base hit.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Taillon said. “That was crazy. … That was impressive and I think that’s also the definition of offense can be contagious. It seemed like everyone that was going up there was just had that body language like they were just gonna get it done.”
There were contributors up and down the lineup. Suzuki had 4 hits, Nico Hoerner broke out of his slump with 3 hits, Miles Mastrobuoni recorded his first career 3-hit game and Mike Tauchman and Miguel Amaya each drove in 3 runs.
“[To] see the boys kinda go off like that, there’s nothing better,” Mastrobuoni said. “See a hit parade. I believe hitting’s contagious. It was a good win for us tonight.”
Some fun facts from the offensive explosion:
—It was the second time this season the Cubs have notched 20 hits in a game (also April 17 in Oakland).
—The Cubs lead the National League with 14 games scoring 10 or more runs.
—This is the first time the Cubs scored 6+ runs in an inning twice in the same game since June 17, 2015 at Cleveland.
—This is the first time the Cubs scored 6+ runs in back-to-back innings since May 5, 2001 against the Dodgers.
—This is also the first time since May 5, 2001 that the Cubs scored 17 runs from the 4th inning on.
The Cubs needed a game like this. They are in the midst of a soft part of their schedule against the Nationals, Cardinals and White Sox over the next two weeks as they look to get back into the thick of the NL Central race.
“I think it just give us confidence,” Wisdom said. “I wouldn’t say we’re lacking confidence but showing that we’re in the right direction and doing the right things as a group. This group’s a lot of fun to be a part of. I think just reaffirming a lot of those things just to have a game like that down early and then have that explosion late, super fun.”
The Cubs hope this kind of performance can springboard the team over the next couple of weeks.
“That’s the thing, that’s the hope — to build on the outing and the confidence and carry that into tomorrow,” Ross said. “Really nice. Everybody feels good going home tonight.”