Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Braves 1
September, 21, 2013
By Bruce Levine
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs scored three late runs to overtake the Atlanta Braves for a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
How it happened: The Braves were on the cusp of winning the National League East division. Their magic number was one as RHP Kris Medlen went to the mound against the Cubs and LHP Travis Wood. The Cubs' pitcher was looking for a team-high 10th victory. Braves rookie Evan Gattis drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single, which scored Freddie Freeman in the fourth inning. Anthony Rizzo tied the game with a double in the eighth inning off reliever Scott Downs. Catcher Dioner Navarro’s clutch RBI single gave the Cubs the lead. A sacrifice RBI by Nate Schierholtz added the third run.
What it means: The Braves' magic number remains at one. Pedro Strop recorded his first save as a Cub, striking out the side. The division championship is on hold for Atlanta. Manager Fredi Gonzalez awaits his second straight playoff appearance as the Braves skipper (the Braves were the NL wild card in 2012). No Cubs pitcher has won more than 10 games since Ryan Dempster picked up 15 wins in 2010. Wood has 24 quality starts in 2013. He allowed one run in seven-plus innings of work.
Outside the box: Closer Kevin Gregg was accepted back in the good graces of management after blasting them for how his closer role was to be handled the last week of the season. President Theo Epstein forgave Gregg after he apologized late Friday evening Minor league pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks and player of the year Javier Baez were honored before Saturday's game. Baez was second in the minor leagues with 37 home runs combined between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee Baez will not play in the Arizona Fall League as he originally planned to do. The Cubs will bring him to Mesa, Ariz., for a few special instruction clinics in the fall and winter Hendricks will finish his senior year at Dartmouth in the fall. He is an economics major The Cubs have put together a special logo for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley field in 2014. A contest held by the organization received 1,200 submissions Brandon Ort of New Bremen, Ohio, had the winning design.
Up next: RHP Edwin Jackson (8-16, 4.75 ERA) opposes the Braves and RHP Julio Teheran (12-8, 3.14) in the series finale.