The Cubs completed the sweep of the Brewers and are now riding a 5 game winning streak after a 4-3 win over the Brewers.
Clayton Richard pitched very well today and even contributed with the bat, hitting an RBI double in the 4th inning. He pitched 6 innings and gave up just 1 run on 5 hits with no walks and 5 Ks. He improved to 2-0 on the year and lowered his ERA to 4.29. He will travel with the team to Pittsburgh where a determination will be made about his spot on the roster. Miguel Montero is supposedly ready to come off the DL by Thursday, so he may just keep a spot warm until then.
Addison Russell hit his 7th HR (a solo shot) to almost dead center to put the Cubs ahead by a score of 2-0. It was his only hit of the day, but he looks so much more comfortable up there than just a month ago. He provides so much value with his defense alone, but he is not going to be a glove-only player; Russell has some serious offensive potential.
Anthony Rizzo didn’t hit a HR today, but he did contribute with an RBI fielder’s choice to give the Cubs an early lead. It was his 61st RBI, which ties him for the team lead with Kris Bryant.
Bryant got his 61st RBI on a single in the 5th inning to put the Cubs ahead by a score of 4-1. He even advanced to 2nd on the throw but was left a little dizzy after sliding head-first and had to be removed as a precaution. He did say he was feeling better after the game, but will probably need to go through the concussion protocol just to be sure. Here’s to hoping he is fine with probably the most important week of the season ahead for the Cubs (3 games with the Pirates, then 4 with the Giants).
Pedro Strop and James Russell did good work out of the pen with each giving a perfect inning of relief. Strop struck out 2 in his inning and now has pitched a modest 7.1 straight innings of scoreless baseball (7 appearances).
Hector Rondon almost blew the save in the 9th after allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits. Starlin Castro did make an error that prolonged the game and inning, but Rondon was less than his normal self today. He started the inning by giving up back to back singles, but settled down to get the next 2 hitters before Castro’s error set the stage for the winning run to come to the plate. Rondon got the final out on a line out to CF and picked up his 16th save, but it wasn’t easy looking.
As I said before, the Cubs are starting a very important stretch of 7 games with 3 at Pittsburgh before hosting the Giants for 4 at Wrigley. Game 1 with the Pirates will be tomorrow evening at 6:05 PM (CST) on CSN and ESPN. The Cubs luckily will miss Gerrit Cole this series, but the first game will be a great matchup of two lefties; Jon Lester (6-8, 3.26) will get the call for the Cubs against Francisco Liriano (7-6, 2.92) for the Pirates. Liriano has usually done great against the Cubs (4-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 starts against the Cubs).