That was more like it. The Cubs offense finally got ignited and the runs poured in.
After the Cubs were held without a hit for the first three innings by 20 year-old Julio Urias, Ben Zobrist laid down a bunt to start the fourth inning that would be the catalyst the Cubs’ offense was so desperately in need of. That bunt single was followed by two more singles, with Willson Contreras’ shot scoring the Cubs’ first run, followed by Jason Heyward driving in Javy Baez on a ground out.
Addison Russell then came up to bat and crushed a 2-0 pitch over the center field wall to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs would go on to score six more runs over the next two innings. Featuring a break-out performance by Anthony Rizzo, who pounded a solo homer in the the top of the fifth inning and singled to drive in two more runs in the top of the sixth inning. He ended up going 3-for-5 in the game.
The offense was solid all around for the Cubs. Every position player who started, with the exception of Jason Heyward, got either a hit or walk. Addison Russell also had a big night going 3-for-5.
On the rubber, John Lackey managed to overcome some early difficulties when Jason Heyward gunned down Adrian Gonzalez attempting to score on a soft single to right field. It turned out to be a much closer play than it actually should have been, having to be reviewed before the ‘call stands’ decision was made.
Following that pivotal play Lackey picked up momentum and pitched exceptionally well the rest of the way until he was removed from the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after issuing back-to-back walks to Andrew Toles and Andre Either. Mike Montgomery came on in relief of Lackey and got a bit rattled by giving up two singles – allowing two runs to score – before getting out of the inning.
The Cubs cruise to the win in this one, right when they needed a ‘cruise to the win’ kind of game (Box Score).
Stats that matter
- Lackey was good when the Cubs needed it most, although he didn’t last long it was long enough – 4.0IP, 2R, 3H, 3BB, 72 pitches
- Rizzo was huge tonight – 3-for-5, 2R, 3RBI, 1 big HR
- Addison Russell went off too – 3-for-5, 2R, 2RBI
- Not to be overlooked, Dexter Fowler had a solid night as well – 2-for-5, 1R, 1RBI, 2B
Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, along with the entire Cubs offense, were only going to be held down for so long. Tonight was the night it all broke free and the timing was impeccable. You have to feel much better after that type of offensive output. The Cubs put up a 10-spot after being held scoreless for over 20 innings. That is how you break out of a slump.
Now we know that regardless of what happens on Thursday, this series is heading back to Chicago, back to Wrigley Field. The thought of that has me gushing with emotion. We get to watch the Cubs play again at Wrigley! That wasn’t a sure thing heading into tonight’s game. With Jon Lester going tomorrow, things suddenly feel much better than they did just 24 short hours ago. Gotta love this game, huh?!
The Cubs will play the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium one final time this season on Thursday. Game time is 7:08 PM CT and Jon Lester will take the hill for the Cubs.