I have to say this, and please forgive me...
Patrick Wisdom: You are ridiculous!
The player who was discarded by the Cardinals and two other teams smashed two home runs Sunday, leading the Cubs to a 4-3 win over the Giants, salvaging the final game of the four-game series in San Francisco.
I’ll get to all the good stuff about Wisdom in a moment, but now let’s rewind to the beginning of this game. It didn’t start out well — Kyle Hendricks got touched up for a pair of runs in the first inning, one of them a home run by LaMonte Wade Jr. on the first pitch Kyle threw.
The Cubs got one of those runs back in the second inning, courtesy of Wisdom [VIDEO].
That baseball went a long way:
The Giants put a third run on the board off Hendricks in the bottom of the second to make it 3-1. But after that Kyle settled down and remained in the game until there was one out in the seventh inning, helped out in part by this nice defensive play by Ian Happ [VIDEO].
Meanwhile, the Cubs were getting back into the game. And who did it? Why, Wisdom again [VIDEO], after a leadoff walk by Happ and two routine outs.
That one went farther than the first one:
So the game’s now tied 3-3 and yes, now you can have all the fun stuff about Patrick Wisdom’s week:
Donnie Baseball (Donnie Murphy) still boasts the Cubs' record for most homers in a player's first 15 games. He had 7 in that span out of the chute for Chicago in 2013.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 6, 2021
Wisdom's 6 blasts are tied with five others for 2nd-most through first 15 games in a Cubs uni.
That tweet was sent BEFORE Wisdom’s second homer, so he’s now tied that mark — with two games to go before he gets to 15 games in a Cubs uniform.
According to Elias sport bureau, the Cubs Patrick Wisdom is the 3rd player ever with 7 HR in his 1st 8 starts with a team. Aristides Aquino and Trevor Story also accomplished it.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 6, 2021
I don’t know how these sorts of things are chosen, but I can pretty much guarantee you that Major League Baseball will announce Monday that Wisdom is National League Player of the Week. For the week beginning last Monday, through Sunday’s game, Wisdom went 10-for-23 (.435) with a double and six home runs.
Back to the game — it’s tied going into the fifth. Hendricks led off with his first hit of 2021, a double that rattled around in the left-field corner, then held at third on a single by Anthony Rizzo. Kris Bryant struck out and Happ walked to load the bases.
The Cubs got a huge break on that play. Buster Posey is one of the best catchers in the game today, one of the best of his generation, and he just missed that ball. It looked like he didn’t keep his eye on the ball, something you’d never see a great defensive player do.
But he did, and the Cubs had a 4-3 lead.
As noted earlier, Hendricks was allowed to begin the seventh inning. After he retired the first hitter and issued a walk, he was removed for Ryan Tepera. Overall it was a good outing for Hendricks, despite three walks. After early struggles, he kept his team in the game.
Tepera, though, allowed the first man he faced to reach base on a hit, but then calmly retired the next two to end the inning.
Andrew Chafin, who’s become the Cubs’ principal setup man, entered to throw the eighth, and then a very odd thing happened. Chafin got pinch-hitter Austin Slater to hit what should have been a routine fly ball to Happ in center — but Happ just let it drop in front of him. Yes, the sun is tough at that time of day and yes, the winds were swirling, but that ball should have been caught.
Chafin was exactly the right guy to have on the mound at that moment. Nothing seems to bother him at all. “Welp — just go get the next guy.” And he did, inducing a double-play ball and another groundout to end the inning. This image sums up Chafin pretty well, I think:
The ninth inning had a bit of excitement. Mauricio Dubon hit Craig Kimbrel’s first pitch deep to left, where KB made a nice leaping catch at the wall. Then Kimbrel struck out Jason Vosler and Wade to end the game for his 14th save. Here’s the final strike [VIDEO].
It was the Cubs’ 23rd one-run game of the season. They’re 13-10 in such games, tied with the Mariners for the most one-run wins in MLB so far this year.
One bit of bad news from this game — Javier Báez left the game after grounding out to end the top of the seventh. Here’s the report:
Cubs shortstop Javier Báez exited today’s game with right thumb soreness.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) June 6, 2021
Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.
Apropos of nothing, here’s a weird stat: The Cubs are 4-0 this year in games started by P.J. Higgins.
The Brewers also won Sunday, so the Cubs remain tied for first place in the NL Central with Milwaukee, both with 33-26 records. The Reds took a 7-0 lead against the Cardinals, blew it, then got a ninth-inning homer from Jesse Winker (his third of the game) to win 8-7. The Reds swept that four-game set. St. Louis trails the Cubs by 2½ games and Cincinnati is now four games back.
The Cubs open a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego Monday evening. Adbert Alzolay will start for the Cubs and Ryan Weathers is scheduled to go for the Padres. Game time is 9:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network, and also on ESPN (outside the Cubs and Padres market territories).