The Cubs’ 43-45 record is certainly nothing for the team or us as fans to be proud of. And we certainly hope the second half of the season is better.
But there were some highlights and excitement from the first half. Here are five games worth remembering, in chronological order.
After spotting the Cardinals three runs in the first inning (thanks again, John Lackey), the Cubs closed the gap to 4-2 entering the seventh. Matt Szczur struck out but reached base when this happened:
There still hasn’t been a good explanation for that.
Anyway, after that Jon Jay walked and Kyle Schwarber followed with this:
The three-run homer put the Cubs ahead and they added another run in the inning for a 6-4 win.
After the N.L. pennant and World Series banners were raised at Wrigley Field, the Cubs blew a 2-0 lead in the late innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jay led off with his first pinch hit of the season, advanced to second on a groundout and stole third as Kris Bryant struck out.
Anthony Rizzo’s opposite-field single scored Jay for a walkoff win over the Dodgers.
On a chilly, raw Wednesday afternoon, this game was delayed by rain for nearly an hour before it started, and again, the Cubs were touched up for a pair of first-inning runs (Kyle Hendricks, this time). They were behind 4-1 before closing the gap to 4-3 with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings.
In the ninth, against then-Brewers closer Neftali Feliz (who has since been released), Jay walked with one out. Miguel Montero singled, sending Jay to third, and Carl Edwards Jr. ran for Miggy. Bryant singled in Jay with the tying run. Rizzo grounded out, and with two out, up stepped Addison Russell.
It was the first walkoff homer of Russell’s career.
I’m including this game even though the Cubs lost, because they put together a three-run rally off their former closer Aroldis Chapman to tie the game in the ninth inning. The tying run scored when Rizzo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two out.
In the 12th inning, Schwarber flashed some glove:
At 18 innings and six hours, five minutes, it was the longest interleague game in major-league history. There were also some strikeout records broken. My game recap details those, as well as listing some other Wrigley Field marathon games. A loss, but certainly memorable.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the ninth and looking rather listless (they’d had only five hits), the Cubs put together a three-run rally against Blake Treinen and won the game, splitting their four-game series with the Nats.
The game-winning hit was this two-run double by Jay:
You might have another favorite game from the first half of 2017. Let us know in the comments. And let’s all hope the second half provides many more highlights like these.