Things didn’t get off to a great start tonight for the Chicago Cubs (95-55), they managed only two hits through five innings of play and didn’t score a run. They made up for it in the 7th and 8th innings.
In the bottom of the 7th inning they got two home runs, one a deep solo shot to right field by Addison Russell, the other a solo bomb off the bat of Willson Contreras for 461 feet. For Contreras, it was his first home run since August 29 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Exit velo: 109 mph ???
Distance: 461 feet ??? pic.twitter.com/9o7ilrqAQM
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 20, 2016
Chris Coghlan also doubled and scored on a Dexter Fowler single and the Cubs found themselves with a 3-2 lead after seven.
In the eighth inning the Cubs got after it again. Addison Russell hit a double into the left field corner with two outs. Jason Heyward, who, as we mentioned in our series preview, has been hot lately, hit a long home run to left center field. That made the score 5-2 and that’s how it would end (Box Score).
Jason Hammel was as good as we’ve seen this year. He’s been stellar this year at Wrigley – posting a 1.77 ERA for the season – and was very good at home again tonight. He made his pitches when he needed to, making very few mistakes. Even the home run he gave up to Brandon Philips was a solid fastball, down and slightly in, that Philips just went down and golfed out. Overall, a solid outing by Hammel, after a few rough starts on the road. Hopefully this is enough to boost his confidence away from Wrigley, where he has a 5.33 ERA.
Stats that matter
- Hammel had a great night – 7.0IP, 2R, 4H, 1BB, 6Ks, HR, 101 pitches
- Addison Russell was key to tonight’s win – 2-for-4, 2R, 1RBI, HR, 2B
- Heyward put a good swing on his home run ball, he seems to be breaking out – 1-for-4, 1R, 2RBI, HR
- Contreras absolutely tattooed his home run shot – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, HR
It was great to see the Cubs break out offensively, after looking sluggish in their last two games since clinching their dramatic walk-off win on Friday. Jason Hammel put it best in his postgame interview when he said, “We might have been a little tired from the late festivities, having a fun time after the clinch but it’s time to get locked mentally back in.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
The Cubs play the Reds on Tuesday, Social Media Night at Wrigley Field. I’ll be there representing Cubs Kingdom and I hope it’s a great crowd for what will surely be a fun night at the ole’ ballpark. Jon Lester (17-4, 2.40 ERA) will be pitching for the Cubs.