Kris Bryant was in the zone today, and that may be slightly understating things. He pounded two home runs, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third inning and a solo bomb – his 30th of the year – in the bottom of the sixth. For the day he went 5-for-5, with 4 runs and 5 RBI. WOW!
Bryant’s dominating performance leads the Cubs to the win and sweep of the Brewers by the score of 9-6 (Box Score).
With Kris Bryant stroking the ball the way he did today, Jake Arrieta (15-5, 2.75 ERA) didn’t need to do too much to get the win. Jake struggled with his command even though he didn’t allow a hit until Kirk Nieuwenhuis blasted a three-run home run – Jake had just issued back-to-back walks – in the top of the fourth inning.
Slightly lost in the offensive explosion is the fact that Cubs’ pitchers gave up 10 walks today. Jake issued 7 of those walks for a career high. Spencer Patton came on in relief of Arrieta in the sixth inning and proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced, forcing in a run, before getting the final out of the inning.
For the day, the Cubs had 14 hits with Matt Szczur, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Javier Baez all with two hits each. Both teams combined for 20 hits, 12 walks and 15 runs. Not a good day to be a pitcher.
Stats that mattered
- Kris Bryant was sick – 5-for-5, 4R, 5RBI, 2HR, 2B
- Jake looked great early but struggled with his command after the 3rd inning – 5.2IP, 3H, 5R, 7BB, 3Ks, 2HR
- Willson Contreras was excellent behind the plate and he had a big pick off at first base in the top of the fifth inning that potentially saved a run
- Matt Szczur has been playing extremely well lately – 2-for-4, 2R, 1BB, 2B
With today’s win the Cubs have done everything they’ve needed to in order to put the National League Central race to bed. This upcoming road trip will play big in that effort. Their next six games are against sub-.500 teams before they head to Los Angeles to play a three-game series against the Dodgers.
When they head back to Wrigley, after the nine game, ten day road trip, they’ll face off against the Pirates followed by the Giants. Those three series, beginning with the Dodgers, will loom large as the Cubs come down the home stretch of this 2016 season.
The Cubs travel to Denver, Colorado on Friday to take on the Rockies. Kyle Hendricks (11-7, 2.19 ERA) will be on the mound for the Cubs.