It sure looked that way for the first seven innings of Monday night’s ballgame at Wrigley Field.
First of all, Joe Panik set the tone with a lead-off home run in the top of the first. We were off to a great start. The Giants scored two runs in the third—Gorkys Hernandez led-off with a walk and scored on Panik’s double. Panik scored when Brandon Belt hit a single. They scored another run in the fourth after Eduardo Nunez led-off with a base hit and scored when Justin Ruggiano followed with a double. Belt led-off the fifth with a solo home run and Ruggiano did the same in the eighth.
Ty Blach was amazing. He pitched seven scoreless, got a little tired in the eighth, but the Giants had enough cushion to soften the blow. Blach gave up three runs–one was a homerun–eight hits and NO walks. He struck out three.
Blach became the hero of the game for his defense in the sixth. The Cubs’ centerfielder hit a bloop to right for a base hit. Joe Panik and Brandon Belt chased the ball into the outfield where Justin Ruggiano fielded it on the hop. The Cubs’ hitter–seeing no one covering the bases, decided to take second. What he didn’t count on was Blach coming behind him to cover first. Ruggiano air mailed the ball to Blach, who threw to Brandon Crawford at second, who tagged the runner out.
The Cubs scored four runs in the eighth, tightening the Giants’ lead, and it was starting to feel like Game 4 of the NLDS when the Giants went into the ninth with a three-run lead. The Cubs scored four runs and we were done. But we got out of the eighth with a two-run lead and closer Mark Melancon was able to get the save and end this game with a win.
The final score was: Giants 6, Cubs 4
One of the great defensive plays of the game–one that kept the Cubs from scoring early–came in the third when the Cubs baserunner at first took off for second. Buster Posey gunned him down with a perfect strike to Panik who held out his glove to catch the ball and tag the runner out as he tried to slide by. The next batter hit a triple, so Posey and Panik’s perfect pick-off play prevented a run.
One thing I’d like to ask, and I’m afraid to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I’m going to anyway—where did all these solo home run hitters come from?
I like their style.
22 May 2017