Resilient Cubs lineup puts together another late rally to down Cardinals
Dansby Swanson called it.
After being activated from the IL Saturday, Swanson was asked what he has seen from this Cubs team in the two weeks while he was out.
One of the things he pointed to was having an answer offensively.
“I feel like we’ve responded well when other teams have scored, being able to add a few more runs on our own,” Swanson said.
That was exactly how it played out on the field a few hours later as the Cubs put together an 8-6 victory in a wild game that included nearly 2 hours of rain delays.
Four separate times, the Cardinals jumped out to a lead only for the Cubs to claw their way back.
In the 6th inning, a Cody Bellinger single not only tied the game but gave the Cubs their first lead of the day and they made sure not to relinquish it. Seiya Suzuki also added an RBI single and the Cubs ended the frame with an 8-6 lead as Wrigley Field rumbled with delight.
“I felt like today our response was really good in a lot of different innings,” Swanson said. “The game can be played so many different ways. Just being able to prove to ourselves that no matter what way the game goes, we still have a chance to win and compete. We did a really good job of that tonight.”
The Cardinals scored in the 1st and the Cubs answered to tie it in the 2nd when Swanson doubled on the first pitch he saw and scored. St. Louis put up 2 runs in the top of the 3rd and 5th innings, but the Cubs responded immediately in the home half of each frame.
After a Cardinals run came home on a wild pitch in the top of the 6th, the Cubs loaded the bases to set the stage for Bellinger’s heroics.
That continued a big weekend and a huge month for Bellinger, who has been the best hitter on the planet in July.
“These guys refuse to give up, quit, roll over,” David Ross said. “I think the game’s all about the offense today. … The offense has been doing a really nice job of that late in games. These guys are grinding all the way through 9 innings. It’s really helped me and my decision-making and I think the group as a whole just to know how much fight there is in this group. It was a really nice win.”
The offense helped out a pitching staff in a unique game for the Cubs, as Ross rolled out an opener and utilized a bullpen day. Reliever Michael Fulmer got the start and threw 2 innings before giving way to Drew Smyly (who had spent the entirety of the season in the rotation prior to Saturday) for 3.2 innings.
Daniel Palencia, Julian Merryweather, Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay combined to get the final 10 outs.
“Things didn’t really go our way pitching-wise but I think that’s the resiliency of this group,” Ross said. “They just continue to fight no matter what’s thrown at them.”
The victory gave the Cubs a 47-51 record as they try to climb up the NL Central standings with the trade deadline just over a week away.