The Chicago Cubs (73-41) came out on fire against the Cardinals (60-56) today and there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop it. With two runs in the bottom of the first inning and five runs in the bottom of the second, this one felt like it was over before the crowd had gotten to their seats.
The Cubs slammed five home runs and four doubles, 9 of their 14 hits. It was an utterly dominating performance that saw every Cubs starter get on base at least once. Only Anthony Rizzo, Miguel Montero and Jake Arrieta didn’t have an extra base hit out of all starters.
Jake Arrieta worked his way around nicely in this one, even though he threw a lot of pitches doing it. He didn’t show that deadly control we’ve seen in the past but he was able to navigate through a few trouble spots using his 4-seam fastball, which he went to more than twice as much as he has on average throughout the season.
Stats that mattered
- The Cubs offense stole the show in this one:
- Szczur crushed it – 3-for-4, 4R, 3RBI, 2HR, 2B, HBP = WOW!!
- Bryant ran wild – 3-for-5, 2R, 2RBI, 2-2B
- Contreras was excellant – 2-for-5, 2R, 3RBI, 1HR
- Soler got in the mix – 2-for-4, 2R, 2RBI, 1BB, 1HR
- Baez had a home run – 2-for-5, 1R, 2RBI, 1HR
- Jake Arrieta threw a bunch of pitches and, at times, had to work hard but you never felt like he wasn’t in control – 5.2IP, 1R, 4H, 2BB, 6Ks, 1HR on 105 pitches
- The bullpen was outstanding, with the exception of one pitch by Joe Smith – 3.1IP, 1R, 1H, 1BB, 2Ks, 1HR
These are the headlines, as a fan, that I love to write. These are headlines that, when you get to write, read, see them, you know how much you really appreciate it, all of this. The Cubs are in the midst, once again, of doing something special in this season, of defining it and themselves. They are on a road the likes of which not many Cubs’ fans have ever seen. This is special.
So while I couldn’t even gander a guess as to where or how this all ends – of course I know where I, and I’m sure all of you, hope it all ends – the thought of continuing this adventure is divine. One of the coolest parts of all is watching Joe Maddon work his magic, just being Joe.
It’s an honor to watch this team.
The Cubs and Cardinals meet on Saturday in game three of the four-game series. Kyle Hendricks (11-7, 2.17 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Cubs at 1:20 PM CDT.