2021 has been a rough year for the Cubs and their fans. An 11-game losing streak beginning in late June began a collapse that resulted in the team trading pending free agents Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant & Javier Baez and others and ending with a 4th place showing in the NL Central.
But, on the bright side, there were some great games, plays we won't soon forget and some new players that made an impact. Here is my list for the top ten of 2021.
August 1, 2021
Rafael Ortega drove in all 5 Cubs runs with 3 home runs. But this wasn't enough as Yadiel Hernandez of the Nats also had a great game going 4 for 5 with 2 home runs, including the walk-off ninth inning home run off Manny Rodriguez.
September 5, 2021
You don't see grand slam home runs everyday, 2 in a game is quite rare, but today the Cubs and Pirates hit 3 grand slams in an 11-8 win for the Cubs.
Bryan Reynolds hits the Pirates only grand slam and for the Cubs, Matt Duffy & Frank Schwindel hit slams for the Cubs. Duffy hit 2 home runs in the game and drove in 5. Jason Heyward also homers for the Cubs.
September 1, 2021
Cubs get a glimpse of their future pitching rotation/bullpen with great performances by Justin Steele and Adbert Alzolay in a 3-0 win over the Twins in Minnesota to complete a sweep of the 2-game series.
Steele got the start and pitched 5 shutout innings, giving up just one hit. Alzolay who was put in the bullpen after an injury to limit his pitch count for the rest of the season (he has been in the Cubs starting rotation all season), earned his first MLB save, giving up one hit and no runs over 4 innings with 5 strikeouts.
July 20, 2021
Cubs make an incredible comeback against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Trailing 6-1 into the 9th inning, the Cubs get two bases loaded walks and the big hits in the inning are a 2-run single by Javy Baez and a 2-run double by Ian Happ that gives the Cubs a 7-6 lead.
The last time the Cubs overcame a 5-run deficit in the 9th inning was April 29, 1969 when the Cubs scored 6 runs in the 9th to defeat the Braves 6-5 in Atlanta.
July 26, 2021
A back and forth game with the Reds ends with a Javier Baez walk-off off Reds relief pitcher, Amir Garrett.
May 23, 2021
Cubs defeat the Cardinals 2-1 in 10 innings to take 2 out of the 3 in this road series against the Cardinals. Javy Baez hits a long home run to centerfield off Cardinals closer, Alex Reyes.
September 19, 2021
Cubs defeat the Brewers 6-4 in Milwaukee with a great comeback win, scoring 5 runs in the 8th inning. The big hit was Patrick Wisdom's 3-run home run. It is Wisdom's 27th home run of the season, a new Cubs team rookie record.
Wisdom breaks the record previously held by Kris Bryant, who hit 26 home runs in 2015.
June 24, 2021
Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chaffin & Craig Kimbrel combine on the 17th no-hitter in Cubs history. It is the first combined no-hitter in Cubs history as all others were complete games by the starting pitcher.
It is the 2nd Cubs no-hitter at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles (first was Jake Arrieta's no-hitter on April 21, 2016. It is the 7th no-hitter in MLB for the 2021 season.
It is the first time that Albert Pujols has been in a lineup that was no-hitted.
Dodgers had 3 MVP winners in the line-up. it is the first no-hitter in MLB history that had a lineup with 3 MVP winners (Albert Pujols, Mookie Betts & Cody Bellinger).
Cubs defeat the Dodgers 4-0. Javy Baez & Willson Contreras homer for the Cubs.
May 27, 2021
In Pittsburth, the Cubs complete a 3-game sweep of the Pirates with a 5-3 win over the Pirates. Kris Bryant homers and Patrick Wisdom hits his first home run as a Cub.
The most memorable play of this game was an amazing baserunning play by Javier Baez who got in a rundown between home and first and ended up on second base while Willson Contreras scored on a infield ground ball.
July 25, 2021
Trevor Williams pitches a good game as the Cubs win a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-1. Given that the trade deadline is coming up this week, Cubs fans need to wonder if it is the last time that Kris Bryant & Anthony Rizzo will hit back to back home runs. David Bote also homers for the Cubs in his first game back after being on the injured list.
June 11, 2021
Without a doubt, one of the best games of the season. It was called Opening Day 2.0 because it was the first game with full attendance since 2019. Kohl Stewart struggled against the Cardinals and left the game in the 5th inning and the Cardinals took a 5-1 lead. But the Cubs will make a great comeback.
The bottom of the 5th, the Cubs cut the lead to 5-4. The big hit was an RBI triple by Sergio Alcantara, who also scores on an error by Yadier Molina trying to pick him off of third base.
Anthony Rizzo ties the game in the sixth inning with an amazing 14 pitch at bat off Cardinals pitcher, Daniel Ponce Deleon.
Bill Murray's seventh inning stretch was amazing and while he was in the booth, the Cubs took the lead 7-5 on Joc Pederson's 2-run double that nearly cleared the wall for his 2nd home run of the game. Willson Contreras gives the Cubs an insurance run with an 8th inning home run to give the Cubs an 8-5 victory.
The Cubs are now 1/2 game in front of the Brewers for first place and are now 4 games ahead of the rival Cardinals.
Here is each pitch of the 14-pitch at bat to Anthony Rizzo that ended with a home run.