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Snake Bytes Sim Season: 5/1 - Off the Schneid

Madison Bumgarner and Stephen Vogt teamed up to restore order and get Arizona back to its winning ways.

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead while Madison Bumgarner struggled with his control. A single, a double, and a walk put the Cubs up 1-0 with runners on the corners and no outs. Meanwhile, Bumgarner had already thrown 18 pitches without recording an out. Bumgarner then struck out Javier Baez with a 2-2 curve to bring up Kyle Schwarber. Bumgarner followed that up with a 0-0 count pick-off move to first that nabbed Rizzo. He then induced a weak fly ball to left out of Kyle Schwarber and, just like that, was out of trouble without allowing any further damage.

The Arizona lefty worked scoreless frames in the second, third and fourth innings, though he struggled putting batters away and faced numerous extended at-bats, including an 11-pitch battle with Jason Heyward in the third inning. The crispness on Bumgarner’s pitches simply was not there, though he continued to battle and make the pitches he had to . In the fifth inning, his luck changed somewhat. Albert Almora Jr. jumped all over the first pitch to lead things off with a hard single to right. Krus Bryant moved him to third with a double. Anthony Rizzo then stroked a ball into left which scored Almora easily. With Peralta running away from the play, Bryant attempted to score as well. Peralta was able to field the ball cleanly at the line and then throw the ball on a line to Stephen Vogt at home to get Bryant on a bang-bang play at the plate. That good play seemed to take a bit of the wind out of Chicago’s sails. Bumgarner then got through the rest of the inning without further incident, but was also at 105 pitches and showing every last one of them.

As for the Snakes, they started off a bit slow going quietly in the first and second innings. They made up for it in the third. Stephen Vogt started things off with a double. Bumgarner then singled to left. Vogt, running like there was a fridge tied to his back hustled for home and made it in under the throw home by Schwarber. Bumgarner then coasted home on a one-out triple by David Peralta. Peralta also scored when Eduardo Escobar tapped a grounder up the third base line. Christian Walker ended the inning when he struck out swinging, but the Diamondbacks finished the inning up two.

After pitching a quick, scoreless, sixth inning, Héctor Rondón walked David Bote to start the third. Virtual Lovullo decided that was enough to pull the trigger and brought in Merrill Kelly. Kelly’s first order of business was to balk Bote over to second base. He then struck out Ian Happ and Bryant before Anthony Rizzo tagged him for a double, scoring Bote and tying the game. Kelly then struck out Schwarber taking the game into the stretch all tied up.

The Diamondbacks were happy to see Jon Lester lifted from the game. They wasted no time in abusing the Chicago bullpen. They played small ball against the Cubs using three walks (one intentional), a wild pitch, two singles, and aggressive running by Jake Lamb to score four runs in the frame. The Diamondbacks forced the Cubs to use three relievers in the inning. Tim Locastro was the second out of the inning, attempting to steal third.

The Cubs put runners on first and second with only one out in the eighth. Virtual Lovullo called upon Andrew Chafin to get his team out of the jam. Chafin responded by inducing an inning-ending double play. Then, in the ninth, Chafin surrendered a lead-off home run to pinch-hitter, Victor Caratini. Oops. That home run brought Archie Bradley in to close the game. Other than hitting Rizzo with a pitch, Bradley kept things clean and neat, notching his ninth save of the season.

Final Score: CHC 4 - AZ 7

Stephen Vogt was named player of the game. The back-up catcher had two hits and scored twice, including one on a hard hustle play that helped keep the pressure on Chicago’s Jon Lester. The same two teams are at it again tomorrow. The Cubs will send Jharel Cotton to the mound. The Diamondbacks will counter with Zac Gallen.

The Diamondbacks are now 17-15, third place in the NL West.