Jason Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA) was exceptional and nearly un-hittable again today as he completely shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks (24-34). He also drove in two runs on a single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. That would be the game winning hit as the Cubs (39-15) keep on rolling and win 5-3 (Box Score).
Dexter Fowler led off the game with a deep home run to left field, his third lead off homer of the year, and the Diamondbacks were down 1-0 early.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with two men on, Jorge Soler, who’s been heating up lately (read more on him here), hit a ground rule double to score Ben Zobrist. After a two-out intentional walk to David Ross, Jason Hammel made the Dbacks pay dearly. His 2-run single made the game 4-2.
Pedro Strop made things interesting – again – in the eighth inning when he gave up a lead off home run and two singles, before justifiably getting pulled by Joe Maddon. When Pedro falls apart, man, does he do it right (or more like really, really wrong).
Strop’s replacement, Trevor Cahill loaded the bases by walking Paul Goldschmidt before he was pulled. Travis Wood came on and, with the bases loaded, pitched Rickie Weeks into a full count before he ground out sharply to Ben Zobrist to end the inning.
Hector Rondon hasn’t been needed much this year, he has only 10 saves for a club with 39 wins — that’s baffling. But, when he has been needed, he’s lock down ready. He came in today and did his thing, shutting down the Dbacks and helping the Cubs get their 10th win in 11 games.
Stats that mattered
- Hammel showed no signs of the hamstring cramp that led to him getting pulled in the third inning in his outing against the Dodgers (more about that here) – 7IP, 2R, 1H, 2BB, 6Ks, 1HR and one game winning 2-run single – NICE!
- Fowler leads the way (again) – 2-for-4, 1R 1RBI, 1HR
- He’s baaack. Rizzo is heating up – 2-for4, 2R, 1RBI, 1HR
- Soler comes through in the clutch – 1-for-3, 1R, 1DBL
Here we go again. The Cubs have won four straight games and 10-of-11. They’re starting to, once again, look utterly dominating. Let’s wave to the Pirates and Cardinals now, while they’re still in sight, because if the Cubs keep winning at this pace, they’ll both be a small insignificant dot in the standings.
The Cubs will go for the sweep tomorrow with Jake Arrieta on the hill. Game time is 1:20 PM CDT.