Any home run for Nate Schierholtz against his former team, the San Francisco Giants, has to be sweet. When that home run comes in the 9th inning of a 0-0 pitcher’s duel? That has to be even sweeter.
Schierholtz took a Sergio Romo offering over the right field wall in the 9th inning, and with one swing, the Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead that they would hold on to. It was the 14th home run of the season for the blazing-hot Schierholtz, and he has shown this season that isn’t just a pure platoon player.
On the mound, Chris Rusin (who!?) pitched Giants’ star Madison Bumgarner to a draw to make it all happen. Rusin threw 7 innings of shutout ball, and allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks for his trouble. After entering the game with an ERA over 6.00 for his MLB career, it was easily the best outing for Rusin in the big leagues, and he was the key before the Schierholtz blast.
In the grand scheme, a “dramatic” win for the Cubs in a July game in San Francisco probably won’t mean much at the end of the year. However, clutch victories in big-time pitcher’s duels are memorable, and they may have found a valuable building block for their rebuild in Nate Schierholtz.