It was another dreary day in Chicago, but at least today it was not raining. It was still bitterly cold though. On top of that, the wind was blowing in at a good clip, playing havoc with just about anything hit into the air. Mike Leake faced off against Jon Lester in a battle between two crafty veterans.
The Diamondbacks weren’t able to muster much offense, only managing a lone single in the inning.
The Cubs tried to play aggressively to begin the game. Happ started things off by attempting to bunt for a hit. Leake showed he still has good fielding instincts and took care of that threat. That’s probably a good thing since he did surrender a walk and a single in the inning before pitching his way out of trouble.
AZ 0 - CHC 0
Neither team was able to do anything with a lead-off walk in the inning. Both sides hit into double plays, though Leake did manage to walk a third batter before he sent the Diamondbacks back to the dugout.
AZ 0 - CHC 0
Despite the wind, David Peralta managed a solo shot to center with two outs to put Arizona in the lead.
With to out, Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez all singled, scoring Bryant. Schwarber then struck out to end the inning.
AZ 1 - CHC 1
The Diamondbacks were unable to capitalize on a one-out double by Christian Walker.
The Cubs used a single, a walk, and a wild pitch, followed by an intentional walk set the stage for Jon Lester to help himself at the plate. That is just what he did as he hit a fly ball to left to score Contreras. A fly out by Happ to center and a strikeout by Bryant prevented the Cubs from adding to their lead.
AZ 1 -CHC 2
With two away, Starling Marte lined a single. He was followed by David Peralta, who was clipped by one of Jon Lester’s pitches, bringing up Ketel Marte. Marte then proceeded to hit a fly ball into the well in right center for a triple, scoring Marte and Peralta. Eduardo Escobar then hit a lazy fly to deep short to end the top of the fifth.
The Cubs were unable to do anything productive with a two-out single by Schwarber.
AZ 3 - CHC 2
Christian Walker started things off with a single, but that’s where the inning ended for both Walker and the Diamondbacks - with Walker still standing on first.
Apparently the Cubs seem to think that Mike Leake’s reputation of being an excellent fielder is just a bunch of hype with no substance. With one out, Albert Almora, Jr attempted to bunt for a hit. As before, Leake was happy for the easy out and retired Almora by a good six feet. That brought up Jason Kipnis, pinch-hitting for Jon Lester. Kipnis put together a nine-[itch at-bat against Leake. The final outcome was a smash down the third base line with an exit velocity of 110.0 mph. Somehow, Escbar was able to make a diving stop, but he was unable to complete the play and Kipnis was safe at first. This brought an end to Leake’s night, that extended AB bringing him to 100 pitches. He finished the game with five walks and five strikeouts, but only two runs allowed in his 5 2⁄3 innings of work. Leake was relieved by Hector Rondon. He struck out Happ swinging to finish the inning.
AZ 3 - CHC 2
Jeremy Jeffers was brought on to pitch for the Cubs. Jake Lamb led things off, hitting for Rondon. That didn’t amount to anything. Starling Marte then hammered a grounder past a diving Rizzo that rolled all the way to the corner. Marte wound up at third with a stand-up triple. He came home on a fly out to left. Next was Ketel Marte. He hit what should have been a routine grounder to short. However, Baez had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and Marte was safe at first as Baez was credited with the fielding error. That brought a pitching change for the Cubs. They turned the ball over to Trevor Megill. Megill allowed things to get very interesting as he surrendered a single to Escobar then proceeded to walk Walker to load the bases. Unfortunately for Arizona, Kole Calhoun popped up to second to end the threat.
The Diamondbacks turned the ball over to Kevin Ginkel. He did his job the turned the ball over to Andrew Chafin, the two combining for a pair of scoreless innings
End of the 8th: AZ 4 - CHC 2
Brad Wieck came on to pitch for Brandon Morrow. Ketel Marte worked a one-out walk. A balk and a single later and there were runners on the corners and the Cubs were going to the bullpen once more. Jharel Cotton came into the game to face Christian Walker. On the first pitch, Walker gave Cotton a rather abrupt welcome and deposited the ball in the seats for a three-run homer. The damage done, Cotton was left in to finish up the inning.
Chafin went back out to begin the bottom of the ninth.He struck out Happ looking before turning the ball over to Bradley who picked up an easy save.
Final score: AZ 7 - CHC 2
The player of the game was Christian Walker. He went 3-for-3 with two walks and three RBI. He finished a triple shy of the cycle.
The Diamondbacks had to rush to the airport after the game as they play the first of four in San Francisco tomorrow evening. The first game will be a match-up between a pair of leftys, Robbie Ray for the Diamondbacks and Drew Smyly for the Giants.