After clinching the National League Central on Saturday, the Cubs put out a post-celebration lineup Sunday on the South Side. The party kept on going, however, as the makeshift batting order put up a 10-spot and hung on for a win in Game 60.
The Cubs got to White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez in the 2nd inning, starting with Kris Bryant launching hit his second homer in two days to give his team a 1-0 lead. David Bote increased that margin to 3-0 with a two-run shot of his own.
Cameron Maybin singled home two more with the bases loaded later in the inning. Maybin then attempted to steal second base, drawing a throw throw that spurred Billy Hamilton to break from third for a steal of home.
Adbert Alzolay made the start for the Cubs and was very good, going five strong innings and allowing just a solo homer to Adam Engel. Not content to just steal home, Hamilton added a rare home run to give his team a seven-run lead.
Brailyn Marquez made his much anticipated debut in the 8th inning. The triple-digit heat and wicked breaking stuff was on display as the 21-year-old logged a strikeout of Jose Abreu, but his control issues were even more evident. Marquez’s nerves were on display as the White Sox tagged him for five runs.
Why the Cubs Won
They jumped all over the Sox early and withstood a late surge to take the win.
Bryant finding his power stroke is a very positive development for the Cubs’ playoff chances. The third baseman is also getting sassy in postgame comments and appears to be showing a little more personality in the dugout.
Stats That Matter
- Hamilton wasn’t gonna miss his shot at the leadoff spot. He had two hits, a walk, and scored three runs Sunday.
- Alzolay should get a lot of work against the Marlins this week: 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 8 K, and 2 BB.
- José Quintana pitched in relief and was touching 94 on the gun: 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
The Cubs finished with a 34-26 record and saw some very good signs this weekend, especially from Bryant. Now the focus turns to the playoffs.
The No. 3 Cubs take on the No. 6 Marlins in a best-of-three opening series beginning Wednesday at Wrigley Field.