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Cubs 6, Tigers 4: The never-quit Cubs pull one out

After a devastating grand slam tied things up, the Cubs got to work and came out on top.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

All’s well that ends well, and the Cubs ended this series well with a 6-4 win over the Tigers, but I’ll ask you the question, and you can vote in the poll.

After Jameson Taillon loaded the bases in the sixth inning, then retired the next two hitters, would you have taken him out, one out short of six shutout innings? He was at 94 pitches.

David Ross elected to leave him in, and Kerry Carpenter tied the game with a grand slam.

But these Cubs, and I mean this, NEVER quit. They scored a run in the eighth and ninth, and Julian Merryweather and Adbert Alzolay shut the door and the Cubs won the game and series.

Now let’s go back to the beginning of a game that had WAY too many nervous moments.

The Cubs scored first, in the second inning. With one out, Seiya Suzuki doubled, and one out later, Jeimer Candelario doubled him in [VIDEO].

The third inning brought a pair of Cubs runs. With one out, Nico Hoerner singled and Dansby Swanson walked. Then, as Ian Happ struck out, Hoerner and Swanson executed a double steal. That turned out to be very important, because Cody Bellinger followed with this single that scored both runners [VIDEO].

One more Cubs run scored in the fourth. Yan Gomes led off with a single literally off Tarik Skubal — it hit him in the leg [VIDEO].

That looked scary at first, but Skubal was okay and remained in the game. Candelario struck out and Patrick Wisdom grounded out, but Gomes advanced on the ground out, which was key, as he then scored on this single by Nick Madrigal [VIDEO].

That’s all good stuff. Note the various different ways in which the Cubs scored, and how many of the nine hitters were involved in creating those runs.

While all this was going on, Taillon was dominating the Tigers, and getting a lot of swings and misses. He took a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out six overall [VIDEO].

But it all unraveled in the bottom of the sixth. Taillon allowed three singles, loading the bases, then retired the next two hitters, including that sixth K.

Kerry Carpenter, who has quietly had a really good month, was the next hitter. Again, would you have taken Taillon out here? David Ross didn’t, and Carpenter’s slam, his 20th home run of the year, tied the game.

Michael Rucker finished off the sixth without further incident.

The Cubs didn’t score in the seventh and Rucker began the bottom of the inning. He did retire two Tigers hitters, but also issued a pair of walks, so Julian Merryweather was summoned. He got Akil Baddoo on a comebacker to end the inning.

Then Cubs hitters took the lead back. With one out in the eighth, Ian Happ singled, and one out later, he stole second while Seiya Suzuki was batting. Suzuki wound up walking, and then Gomes singled in the lead run [VIDEO].

The throw came to the plate and Gomes tried to take second but was thrown out. Honestly I wish he’d just stayed at first, the Cubs would have had runners on first and third with two out and Candelario at bat.

Anyway, on the game went to the bottom of the eighth and Merryweather had one of his best innings of the year. He struck out the side on just 13 pitches, getting Carpenter to end the inning on a devastating changeup. Excellent work done here.

The Cubs put an important insurance run on the board in the ninth. Candelario led off with a walk and Christopher Morel, batting for Mike Tauchman, singled.

Madrigal advanced the runners with a bunt. That’s just the 11th successful sac bunt by the Cubs this year, just on the league average.

Nico brought Candelario in with this sac fly [VIDEO].

Again, that’s tremendous team effort, including a hit from Morel, who’s been struggling lately.

Adbert Alzolay entered to finish things off and, truth be told, this was not his best game. He allowed a one-out walk and single, but completed the save with a pair of strikeouts. Here’s the final out [VIDEO].

Can’t say enough about this team. Even when things go wrong, they pick right up and ... well, yes, I’ve said it before, never quit. Assuming they do go on to a postseason spot, that team effort will serve them well.

Games involving the Cubs’ competitors for postseason spots are in progress as I write this. The Twins and Brewers are tied late, the Angels lead the Reds early (and those two have a doubleheader today), the Giants lead early and the Marlins trail early.

But the Cubs did what they needed to do in Detroit, take two of three. Now, go take three of four in Pittsburgh.

The Cubs will open a four-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park Thursday evening, hoping to continue their dominance over the Bucs this year. The Cubs are 6-0 vs. Pittsburgh so far in 2023. Justin Steele will throw the series opener. At the time of this recap, the Pirates had not listed a starter for this game. Game time tomorrow is 6:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.


Would you have taken Jameson Taillon out in the sixth when Kerry Carpenter came to bat?

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