The Cubs welcomed the Angels to a gusty Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Chicago hitters took advantage of the wind blowing out by hitting four long home runs. The real story, though, was the second consecutive excellent outing from a Cubs starter.
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs did not have it in the opening inning. After Kris Bryant singled, Anthony Rizzo stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run bomb to right field. Two batters later, Willson Contreras launched a solo-shot to make it 3-0.
Cole Hamels was locked in all day Friday, breezing through the first three innings. The only blemish against him was a long homer from legendary Cub killer Albert Pujols in the 4th inning. David Bote responded with his first jack of the year in the bottom of the inning.
That was more than enough of a lead for Colbert Michael Hamels as he kept mowing down the Halos. Contreras pounded home run number two of the day off of Noé Ramirez in the 6th to put the score at 5-1.
Why the Cubs Won
Hamels sliced through the Angels lineup: 8 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, and 6 K. He never looked threatened the whole day. Even Pujols’ homer was on a good pitch that the future Hall of Famer somehow got his bat on.
The Cubs getting three runs in the 1st inning gave their starter all the cushion he would need for a stress-free afternoon.
Stats That Matter
- Contreras has 1.311 OPS so far this season and looks very good so far. The cold weather isn’t keeping his bat Chili. Sorry I had to.
- Albert Almora Jr. had two hits, including one on an infield grounder. I wrote about his heavy groundball production this season prior to the game, so hitting three in the air Friday is a positive sign that clearly came about as the result of that post.
The Cubs have won consecutive games for the first time in 2019 as the pitching has stabilized. Hopefully, this is a start of a hot streak for Chicago.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 1:20pm CT. Kyle Hendricks looks to bounce back from a tough first start against Chris Stratton. ABC-7 has the television feed and 670 The Score has the radio coverage.