Cubs

Cubs magical comeback proves some wins are more fun than others

Cubs magical comeback proves some wins are more fun than others

Some wins are more fun than others. That's a fact.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon somehow waved his hand over his hat and turned a six-run deficit three innings into Sunday night's game against the Mariners into a puff of smoke and pulled a rabbit out as the Wrigley Field crowd cheered in amazement.

Jon Lester laid down a perfect bunt as Jason Heyward darted down the third base line, slid into home safely and tossed his helmet a mile into the air. When it landed the Cubs had completed their biggest comeback of the season with a 7-6 win in 12 innings.

The final play was not all that different than a series of timely hits, big pitches and quality managerial decisions that proceeded it.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

Lets take a look back at the madness.

The Cubs needed eight pitchers, including Travis Wood twice. Wood pitched in the sixth, headed to left field and ended up making a highlight catch against the ivy.

He then returned to the game to relieve Pedro Strop in the eighth and helped pickoff a runner at first base to end the inning.

The scoring started in the fifth when Ben Zobrist drew a bases loaded walk to score Miguel Montero. The next batter, Addison Russell, was hit by a pitch, sending in Dexter Fowler to cut the lead to 6-2.

Two innings later in the seventh, Fowler walked, stole second as Kris Bryant struck out. He then took third on an Anthony Rizzo fly out. Zobrist stepped up again, this time with a triple to score Fowler and chipping away another run off the Seattle lead, which then stood at 6-3.

After stranding Wilson Contreras at second base in the eighth, it came down to the bottom of the ninth for the Cubs. And they came up big.

[RELATED: Mariners blitz Brian Matusz before Cubs make big comeback]

Rizzo belted a one-out double off the wall, then advanced to third when Zobrist singled. Russell nailed a clutch hit to left center scoring Rizzo to cut the lead to 6-4, pushing Zobrist to third and then smartly took second base on a poor throw from the outfield. This moment was key as Russell, the tying run got himself into scoring position. 

Heyward was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Contreras, who grounded into a fielder's choice that resulted in Heyward being out at second. But Zobrist scored and Russell moved over to the third as the Cubs trailed 6-5 with two outs. Four pitches later Russell scored on a wild pitch by Steve Cishek to even the score.

Matt Sczcur flied out to right and the game would head to extras.

No Cubs reached base in the 10th or 11th, but the magic returned in the bottom of the 12th as Heyward led things off with a double. Contreras flied out to center and Heyward took third. Lester was called on to pinch hit for Rodon and dropped a textbook two-out, two-strike bunt scoring Heyward to complete the comeback victory.

What a win.

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 

 

 

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.