David Bote and Mike Montgomery both came up big for the Cubs tonight and helped lead them to the win.
Montgomery allowed five hits, walked one, and struck out four. He never ran into trouble, and the contact was relatively soft tonight. Bote went 2-for-3 and was responsible for four of the five runs the Cubs scored tonight, scoring one and driving in three.
The bullpen also performed well, shutting down the Royals offense after Montgomery left the game (box score).
Why the Cubs Won
Mike Montgomery was fantastic tonight. Monty did what Cubs pitchers have had trouble doing recently: he attacked the opposing hitters. He was rarely in deep counts and he had his changeup working tonight. Hopefully he’ll continue to use that pitch as a weapon. He also allowed the bullpen to get some much needed rest by pitching six innings.
With a four-run lead and a man on first base in the bottom of the 7th inning, Joe Maddon called up Carl Edwards Jr. to get three outs. He walked the first batter he faced, then induced a pop-up to third. After a conference on the mound, the Royals executed a double-steal.
With the pressure mounting, Edwards was able to strike out the next batter and then get the final batter of the inning to pop out to left. It was the only time all night the Royals threatened to score.
Stats that Matter
- Mike Montgomery threw a first pitch strike to 20 of the 24 batters he faced tonight – 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K
- David Bote’s RBIs were all with two outs – 2-for-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, BB, 3B
- Javier Baez got another hit tonight and scored a run. He’s slashing a healthy .345/.406/.828 over the first week of August.
It was nice to see the Cubs finally win comfortably against a team they should dominate. They are currently 65-47, and hold a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Brewers.
On Wednesday Jose Quintana and the Cubs look to complete the sweep of the Royals. RHP Heath Fillmyer will take the hill for the Royals. The game will be broadcast at 7:15 CT on WGN.