Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 3, Pirates 2

The Second Half Cubs can’t lose. That’s four games in a row out of the break, and five in a row overall. That’s their first five-game winning streak of the season.

Tonight’s was a tight one that the Cubs took late.

Nico Hoerner drove in two of the Cubs’ runs tonight with opposite field shots, the second of which gave the Cubs the lead in the bottom of the 8th. The guy is playing like a *star*, not just a quality regular. And he always seems to come through.

Also, the VERY RARE hit-and-run that worked: the batter before Hoerner, Ian Happ smoked one to second base that could have been an inning-ending double-play. But instead, since Seiya Suzuki was running, it was just a groundout that advanced Suzuki. Thus, he was there to score on Hoerner’s double.

Adrian Sampson turned in yet another “hey, that was actually pretty solid” start, and I’ll admit that there’s a tiny part of my brain that wonders whether some team will ask the Cubs about him as a depth starter for the final two months of the season. I suspect not, and I also suspect the Cubs would rather hang onto him to see if he can keep doing this, but it’s that time of year. I wonder it about everyone.

Speaking of which: I wouldn’t worry or start to speculate about David Robertson not getting the 9th. He had pitched the last two days in a row, and this time of year, there is just NOOOOOO reason to pitch him three straight days. I was very glad to see Scott Effross get the save.

Speaking of the same trade topics, nice night for Rafael Ortega after a long, rough stretch.

Some love for Willson Contreras on this stellar play:

The Cubs are officially the best team in Major League Baseball … second half edition.

Full box score.

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