clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cubs 13, Dodgers 0: Drew Smyly was nearly perfect

But Smyly lost his perfect game in about the weirdest way you’ll ever see.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Let’s stipulate this right now: Even if Drew Smyly had picked up David Peralta’s little broken-bat dribbler down the third-base line leading off the eighth inning cleanly, he probably doesn’t throw out Peralta at first, though he’d have had a chance.

But seriously, Yan Gomes, what are you thinking here? [VIDEO]

Sure, most times that’s the catcher’s play, but in this case Smyly went off the mound quickly and definitely was about to get the ball, or at least he was until Gomes ran over him. Smyly stayed in the game for two more outs and then left to a roaring ovation [VIDEO].

And in case you were wondering:

Smyly was amazing in this game, striking out 10 and only going to a three-ball count a handful of times. He had Dodgers hitters totally tied up in knots. Just six balls left the infield in the entire 13-0 Cubs win.

Before we get to some of the Cubs’ offensive highlights, here are a few fun facts about this game, courtesy BCB’s JohnW53:

Today’s win is the Cubs’ biggest shutout ever at home against the Dodgers — and by four runs. Their previous best was 9-0, way back on May 10, 1926. They won 3 times by 8-0, in 1906, 1934 and 1935. Their all-time largest shutout against the Dodgers was 14-0, at Brooklyn, on Aug. 15, 1910. They won there, 13-0, in 1930, and 12-0, in 1909. They won at Los Angeles, 10-0, in 1983.

And regarding Smyly’s attempt at perfection:

Milt Pappas came closest of any Cubs pitcher to a perfect game, missing it on a disputed 3-2 pitch called a ball against the Padres in 1972. No other Cub has been perfect for more than seven innings. Drew Smyly today became the fourth to retire 21 in a row, then allow the 22nd to reach base. The others were Jack Taylor in 1902, Glen Hobbie in 1960 and Jose Guzman in 1993.

I was at that game in 1993. It was the second game of the season, April 6 at Wrigley Field. Guzman walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth, breaking up the perfect game, but took his no-hitter until two out in the ninth, when Otis Nixon singled to break it up. The Cubs won 1-0, defeating John Smoltz.

Today, the offense was the story, even with the incipient perfecto.

The Cubs started early. With one out in the first, Dansby Swanson walked and Ian Happ doubled him to third. Seiya Suzuki doubled them both in [VIDEO].

In the second, Nick Madrigal tripled with one out and scored on this single by Nico Hoerner [VIDEO].

The Cubs put two on the board in the third on back-to-back homers with two out.

Cody Bellinger was first to go deep [VIDEO].

Then, Trey Mancini hit his second of the year [VIDEO].

That’s the way it stayed until a seven-run explosion in the fifth. Happ walked and Suzuki singled, and Patrick Wisdom put one in the bleachers that bounced onto Waveland [VIDEO].

Here’s what happened to that ball:

For Wisdom, the three-run shot was his ninth, tying Pete Alonso for the MLB lead. The Washington Nationals have hit eight, as a team.

Bellinger followed with a double — he is apparently trying to show his old team how wrong they were to let him go. He was 2-for-4 in this game and is now batting .353 (6-for-17) against the Dodgers so far this year with two doubles and three home runs, producing a SLG of 1.000 against L.A.

Mancini drove Bellinger in to make it 9-0 [VIDEO].

The Cubs were not done, though. Gomes singled and one out later Nico smashed a three-run homer of his own [VIDEO].

That was Hoerner’s first homer of the year, one of four hits he had on the afternoon, raising his BA to .365. At this writing that’s just behind Ronald Acuña Jr. (.367) and Brandon Nimmo (.368) for the National League lead.

That made the score 12-0 and the Cubs had one last run to put on the board in the sixth. Wisdom led off with a double and one out later, Mancini had his second RBI single of the day [VIDEO].

You’ve already seen how the perfect game was broken up, but let me shower praise on Smyly, who had a rough beginning to this year but has been very good over his last three starts. Here’s all the data on Smyly’s 103 pitches [VIDEO].

Here are Smyly’s postgame comments [VIDEO] — the very first thing he says is that he loves being a Cub.

Here’s David Ross on Smyly [VIDEO].

And so, given Smyly’s performance and the Cubs’ hitting explosion, the complaint department is definitely closed and locked up tight tonight. One thing about this win: This was in every way a great pick-me-up after a tough loss Thursday night. That, I believe, says something about this team.

Jeremiah Estrada relieved Smyly, his first MLB outing this year after being recalled before the game. He struggled a bit in the ninth with a couple of walks, but finished up with this line drive hit by former Cubs Jason Heyward, snagged by Madrigal [VIDEO].

So, the Cubs evened up their series and hopefully can follow up with another win Saturday afternoon, though it will not be easy against Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw. Hayden Wesneski, who dominated the A’s on Monday, will start for the Cubs. Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.