Cubs’ David Bote out-battles Wrigley Field wind to beat Reds

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Home run ball the unlikely hero in blustering Cubs win originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs infielder David Bote hadn’t seen the ball fall into the basket atop Wrigley Field’s left-field wall before it bounced out.

He’d absolutely smoked a high fastball off Reds rookie pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez. But the wind, howling in at Wrigley Field, had knocked down plenty of hard-hit balls already in the game.

“A day like today, you hit the ball hard, and you start running,” Bote said after the Chicago Cubs’ 1-0 victory on Friday.

His solo homer in the fifth inning was the difference in the game. The Cubs (28-22) extended their winning streak to five games. At the end of the game, they tied the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central, before St. Louis played at Arizona later in the evening.

In Chicago, the game-time temperature was a blustery 50 degrees, and it dropped further during the game.

“It was as windy as I’ve seen it,” said Bote, who’s in his fourth season with the Cubs.

Outfielders looked like they were going through intricate footwork drills as the wind seized each fly ball.

Four hits in the air registered an exit velocity of at least 100 mph. Two of them were caught. The others were Bote’s home run and Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart’s ground rule double in the third inning.

With a runner on first base, if Barnhart’s hit had gone over the fence, or even if the ball had lodged itself into the right field corner, the Reds would have taken a lead. Reds third baseman Max Schrock also hit a double off the wall that could have gone out in other conditions.

Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay said as soon as he left his apartment Friday morning, he knew the kind of weather in store for him at Wrigley. But he felt prepared physically and mentally.

“Whenever I'm on the mound, I don't really think about the weather, if it’s cold, if it’s hot,” said Alzolay, who threw 5 2/3 shutout innings. “I'm just there to compete. So, I can tell you between innings, yes, I will feel the cold. Trying to get to keep myself warm, coming inside to the tunnel and just getting one moment there and going out there again.”

The wind was chilling the hands of both teams’ pitchers and playing defense for both teams.

The Cubs, too, could have tacked on another couple runs if the wind hadn’t knocked down towering fly balls off the bats of Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson and pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom.

“You think you're going to have to have to play small ball, hit-and-run, steal some bags, bunt, move guys over,” Cubs manager David Ross said, laughing. “And we win by a homer, 1-0 today. So that’s this crazy game. At Wrigley Field, that's part of it.”

Bote led off the fifth inning, with the score knotted at 0-0. He watched two low heaters for balls. Then, Gutierrez threw him a four-seamer that drifted over the plate. Bote turned on it and hit it off the Wintrust sign just above the left-field wall.

Bote accelerated into second base, listening to the crowd’s reaction and searching for an umpire. A step before the bag, he saw the third base umpire wave his hand.

Home run.

Click here to subscribe to the Cubs Talk Podcast for free.

Download

Download MyTeams Today!