Entering the second game of this series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs were on a five game losing streak and were desperately searching for a win. Jon Lester took the mound looking to get the Cubs back on track and lasted five innings, giving up two earned runs but still managing to keep them in the game. This was Javier Baez‘s game though, as he collected four hits, two of which were home runs, and drove in five runs to lead the offense (Box Score).
Why the Cubs Won
Javier Baez once again showed his ability to single-handedly change a game, hitting not just one, but two home runs in this one, one of which was a grand slam in the sixth inning to put this game out of reach. The offense did a nice job of adding a few additional runs throughout the game to account for the final score of 9-4.
Leading off the sixth inning for the Cubs, Contreras reached base on a single to left. Two batters later with one out, Ian Happ reached safely on an error by Yasiel Puig, which advanced Contreras to third base. Addison Russell came to the plate and delivered an infield single to drive in Contreras, tying the game at two. Following a Tommy LaStella strikeout, Zobrist singled to left, driving in Happ and putting the Cubs up 3-2. Jason Heyward proceeded to take a walk and load the bases, and then Baez put the game out of reach with a towering grand slam to left field to extend the lead to five runs.
In the bottom of the eighth inning the Dodgers were able to score two runs off of Brian Duensing to close the deficit to four runs, but the Cubs’ bullpen was able to limit the damage and end the scoring threat. It was relieving to see them close it out after the recent bullpen issues against the Reds.
Stats That Matter
- Javy had himself a game tonight and stepped up big for an offense playing without Kris Bryant and that has been struggling to score runs of late – 4-for- 5, 2 HR, 1 2B, 5 RBI
- Jon Lester didn’t go as deep as usual, but still kept his team in the game – 5IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- 15 – The number of hits the Cubs managed tonight, which is hopefully a sign of things to come for their struggling offense.
Baez came alive in this one just when the offense needed a spark. Injuries have been taking a toll on this team, and Javy came through with two very important home runs to help carry the Cubs to victory. The pitching staff did just enough to hold the Dodgers in check and ensure that the losing streak came to an end.
On Wednesday, the Cubs and Dodgers engage in the third game of this four game series. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will take the mound for the Cubs, while southpaw Alex Wood will be on the mound for the Dodgers. First pitch is slated for 9:10pm CT and will air on NBC Sports Chicago+ and ESPN for those out of market.