In Game 2 on Saturday, the Cubs utilized small ball — bunting, stealing bases, fundamentals.
Last night, a new plan was in effect: Hit home runs. A lot of them. With the wind blowing out on a warm fall night at Wrigley, the Cubs hit a postseason record SIX home runs — all from six separate players.
Kris Bryant and Anothony Rizzo, who didn’t have a hit in the series entering Monday night’s game, got in on the home run action by going back-to-back in the 5th. Also homering were Kyle Schwarber, Starlin Castro, Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler.
It was a thing of beauty:
But @Cubs, can you fit all six homers in one GIF?
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 13, 2015
The offenisve surge was needed, as the reliable Jake Arrieta had a bit of an off-night. He went 5.2 innings, giving up four runs and striking out nine. It was his first non-quality start since June.
The Cardinals did what they needed to do against Arrieta, but they just couldn’t hold down the Cubs’ bats. The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow, with Jason Hammel facing off against John Lackey (who will be going on three days rest).
Jorge Soler is on fire (not literally)
Jorge Soler is turning things on at the perfect time. The outfielder has not been retired in the NLDS.
After going 2-for-2 with a home run, two walks, two runs scored, and two RBIs last night, he has reached base in all nine plate appearances this series. No player has ever reached base nine times in his first plate appearances before. Sweet.
Addison Russell exits
After tripling in the 4th inning, Addison Russell was removed from last night’s game with a hamstring injury.
As for his availability in today’s game, Jesse Rogers tweets that Russell is hoping to play, but we’ll see.
Javier Baez took over and went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, but he looked a little shaky in the field. Despite the defensive difficulties last night, it’s pretty cool to know that the Cubs have a guy of the caliber of Javy sitting on the bench, ready to go.
I hope Russell can make it back today, but I’ll feel good about having Javy in there too.
The Cubs also could decide to slide Starlin Castro back to shortstop and play Tommy La Stella at second base.