No player on the Cubs roster has been scrutinized more than Jason Heyward.
Heyward signed the richest contract in Cubs history in the offseason and has struggled to find his groove at the plate, but still maintained Gold Glove level defense in right field all year.
That wasn't the case Sunday.
Heyward dropped Hunter Pence's flyball in the second inning, putting a runner at second base with nobody out. Pence came around to score the Giants' first run and what looked like the possible deciding tally in the game with Johnny Cueto locked in on the mound.
Except Heyward had other ideas.
The embattled outfielder lifted a two-out, two strike pitch over shortstop to drive home Anthony Rizzo in the fourth inning and knocked in Addison Russell with the game-tying run in the ninth on a single through the drawn in infield.
But Heyward still wasn't done.
In the 13th inning, he singled over shortstop again to bring home Rizzo again in a wild 3-2 walk-off victory in front of 41,293 fans at Wrigley Field Sunday.
"It's good to be a part of it," Heyward said.
With Heyward's year-long struggles, Joe Maddon opted to sit the slumping outfielder for an entire three-game series in Colorado last month.
Since then, Heyward is hitting .308 with nine RBI in 52 at-bats across 13 games (11 starts).
"I feel like it's still coming," Heyward said. "I feel like there are still flashes of it. But either way, it's just one day at a time, keep competing, keep trying to do something each game to help win. That's the bottom line."
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It's not like Heyward's three hits Sunday were struck all that well — a groundball through the drawn-in infield and two soft liners over the shortstop — but it also helps make up for some of the hard shots Heyward has hit right at people this season.
"Confidence starts showing up and then all of a sudden, you become more on time, the ball gets a little bit bigger," Maddon said.
Cubs starter John Lackey has called out his teammates for fielding miscues in the past, but had no such agenda for Heyward's dropped ball Sunday.
"You're never gonna get mad at him," Lackey said. "He's played Gold Glove defense all year. He's made a lot more plays than he's missed out there. I'll take that guy out there every day of the week for sure."
Heyward admitted he was thinking about the error for a little while afterwards.
"It took me a second to let it go," Heyward said. "... There's nothing you can do after that play. It happens. I know I don't make a lot of errors.
"Just let it go and keep playing because you know you're playing a good team. Just gotta keep being a part of the game, keep doing what you can to help."
In a hard-fought series in which every game was decided by one run, the Cubs found a way to grind out three victories and finished the homestand with a 6-1 record.
The Cubs woke up Sunday morning with a 16.5-game lead in the National League Central, but despite being on the verge of clinching a playoff spot in early September, they continue to show their killer instinct, trying to win every single game.
"My takeaway is the fact that we have the lead that we do right now and we're playing to win...," Maddon said. "There's something to be said for that. Nobody's mailing anything in. Nobody's taking anything for granted. We're playing it one game at a time."
The Cubs bullpen was dominant all series, allowing only six baserunners in 16 shutout innings. It was the third game of the season in which Cubs relievers accounted for at least eight shutout innings.
In fact, the Cubs pitching staff as a whole limited the Giants to a .106 batting average (14-for-132) in the four games. The 14 hits were tied for the lowest the Cubs have surrendered in a four-game series in Wrigley history.
Five of the Cubs' last six wins have come by a one-run margin, including two in extra innings. They've also gone 9-0-1 in series at Wrigley Field since the All-Star break.
"Isn't it beautiful?" Maddon said. "That's what I've been talking about. We have a nice record, but we're coming to play every day.
"Everybody says, 'What are you going to do in September?' Nothing different. Just try to rest people when you can, but play the same game."