The Chicago Cubs (51-26) opened things up in today’s game with an Anthony Rizzo first inning inside-the-park three-run home run off the head of Cincinnati Reds (29-49) outfielder Billy Hamilton – who exited the game after the play. It was all downhill after that, as the Cubs cruise to the win, and series sweep, by the score of 9-2 (Box Score).
Kyle Hendricks (6-6, 2.76 ERA) lasted into the seventh inning and pitched a solid game, right when the Cubs needed it after their fifteen inning marathon game last night, which saw them use eight different pitchers (technically it was nine, since Pedro Strop played left field, but whose counting?).
The Cubs piled on six more runs, two in each of the third, fourth and seventh innings. Both Addison Russell and Albert Almora hit solo home runs in the top of the fourth inning. For Almora, it was his first big league home run and a fun moment to watch for a young guy with loads of talent.
Stats that mattered
- Hendricks was rock solid today – 6.2IP, 2R, 8H, 2BB, 5Ks, HR
- Ben Zobrist, batting lead-off, got on-base and scored some runs – 2-for-4, 2R, 1BB
- Javy Baez had a great game today, after his huge grand slam last night – 3-for-5, 1R, 2B
- Every Cubs batter, except Hendricks, had a hit today. Excellent all-around team play. The only exception, Kyle Hendricks, laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning to score Matt Szczur.
By sweeping the Reds, the Cubs did what they needed to, and should’ve done, in this series. This is a brutal, important stretch for the Cubs, particularly since they now head to New York to play a four-game series against the Mets.
It was also good to see the Cubs’ offense clicking in high gear, especially after they could only muster nine hits in 15 innings last night. We’ll chalk that one up to “it’s a long season and baseball is hard.”
Heading to New York, the Cubs take on the Mets at 6:10 PM CDT with John Lackey (7-4, 3.29 ERA) taking the hill for the good guys.