Home Sweet Home--Cubs 5 Giants 3

You could have written the recap before the night even began. The Cubs team combined to provide a relative stress free outing. Cole Hamels was not great, but he was able to gut his way through a quality start. The actual performance was not as pretty as the line, but it was a step in the right direction for the Cubs lefty. Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs lineup hit three home runs and scratched across a couple of manufactured runs to take the lead. The revamped bullpen allowed a single base hit over three scoreless frames. Things are looking up for the Northside nine. Now the Cardinals just need to lose once in a while.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Cole Hamels pitched a clean first inning to start the game. It was the first of many thrown by the veteran southpaw. The outing was far from perfect, but the lefty started to show the top of the rotation form. Tyler Beede ran into trouble early. He threw a fastball right over the heart of the plate for Nicholas Castellanos. Anthony Rizzo delivered a two out solo shot to double the Cubs lead. Javier Báez singled on a groundball through the left side. Kyle Schwarber walked but Jonathan Lucroy bounced into an inning ending fielder's choice.

Hamels walked Evan Longoria to start the second inning. Kevin Pillar popped out, but Austin Slater crushed a Hamels mistake to tie the game. Beede retired Tony Kemp and Hamels to start the bottom of the second inning. Jason Heyward drew a walk to extend the inning and Castellanos rolled a single through the left side before Bryant popped out to end the frame.

Hamels pitched a clean third inning. Rizzo hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the frame. Beede retired the next three Cubs, but the Rizzo blast made it a 3-2 Cubs lead. Kevin Pillar tied the game with one out in the fourth inning. Hamels wouldn't pitch another clean inning, but he kept the Giants off the board through the sixth inning.

The Cubs broke the tie in the fifth inning against Fernando Abad. Anthony Rizzo sprayed a single against the shift to lead off the inning, but he was switched out for Javy on a fielder's choice. Schwarber walked, and Lucroy delivered a run scoring single into right on a line. Kemp grounded an inning ending double play.

Kyle Ryan pitched the seventh inning and was allowed to pitch around a two out single allowed. Ryan's goose egg in the seventh gave the Cubs a chance against Andrew Suarez. Rizzo drew a leadoff walk. Schwarber doubled to put two in scoring position. Lucroy was put on intentionally, but Kemp drove a ball deep enough into left field to advance every runner 90 feet. Addison Russell hit a pinch hit ground out to end the inning with the Cubs up 5-3.

Rowan Wick blew through the heart of the Giants order. The Cubs couldn't add on in the eighth inning, but Craig Kimbrel looked dominant again. He struck out Stephen Vogt to start the frame. Two fly outs to Jason Heyward in center field ended the game. The Cubs aren't going to gain any ground, but the Cubs keep winning.

Random Reference

Anthony Rizzo is back. The power has come back with a two homer night, and a resurgent Rizzo has me thinking this about the Cubs offense at the moment.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Nicky 4Bags and Anthony Rizzoand Rowan Wick, your table is ready.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Can we add a seat for Kimbrel. It’s nice to have the closer back!

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    We'll soon have a functional bullpen back. And Willson. And Zobrist.

    One in Atlanta, one in LA, one in Houston...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubs09:

    a 1,2,3 inning deserves it. Good call.

  • Hamels grinding it out. Ryan doing his thing. Wick mowing em down. Kimbrel throwing gas. Rizzo twice & Castellanos going yard. Schwarber a big double. Kemp delivering a sac fly. Everything clicked . Nice W.

  • fb_avatar

    I mentioned Braylin Marquez during the game notes. Is Brennen Davis injured and, if so, is he expected back this year? Another candidate for the top 100 prospects.

  • StL beat MIL again, while the two closet pursuers in the Wild Card, PHI and NYM, both won. The Magic Numbers are now

    Division: 39
    Playoffs: 36

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Is it just me or do the Brewers look like their done? Cain looks like the wear and tear have taken their toll. They traded away one of their two right handed power hitters. No starting pitching (again). I really think this is headed for a two team race.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I was thinking the same thing....if MIL loses tonight, they are 5 back and 1 game over 0.500. Of course, MIL was 5 back late last year, too...

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    yeah, but Hader was somebody before being used like a ragdoll. Jeffries is awful and Knebel crapped out too. No signs of any help on the horizon for the pitching staff.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    The stretch doesn't forecast positive for the crew, but it does look good for Cards. While the Cubs are playing 24 of their remaining schedule on the road, the Dirty birds will be playing 24 at home. Even if we continue at the pace that we have in Wrigley, the Cubs will need to win on the road too.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    yeah, the Cards definitely have the easier schedule. Cubs facing Strohman, Cindy and Degron next week doesn't exactly mesh with the cards easy schedule.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Who are Jeffries, Strohman, Cindy and Degron? Not familiar with these names.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I don't care how I spell them if they aren't Cubs.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Oh ok, thanks for clearing that up.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Sorry, but by my count the Cubs have 20 left at home and 17 on the road, while StL has 22-16 home-road.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I didn't count. I was going by something that I read a few days ago. I'm sure that you are accurate. It's better news as well.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It looks like it will all come down to the head to head match-ups again, which I actually like. We have to win the remaining series against St. Lou and against the Brew Crew. Gonna have to earn it, like the Brewers did last year.

  • Great to see Hamels pitch well after some initial struggles coming off of his injury. The athletic posted an article about Hamels and he admitted that his mechanics were just off, and the cubs pitch lab technology confirmed that theory. I was optimistic after reading the article because Hamels seemed so at ease with the issue, and he went into some length about how he typically works his mechanics back into form step by step. I didn't think he had his best game last night but it was certainly a nice improvement, and I think he's at the very least getting closer to his previous form. I can't say for sure at this late stage of the season that he'll get back to the top form that we've seen from his throughout his cubs tenure, but at least he's progressing and has an outing to build from.

    Really since Hamels absence/recent struggles this rotation has been led by Hendricks, Quintana, and Darvish. Great to see Lester and Hamels showing some progress with nice wins. If those 2 emerge back into the TOR starters that we've seen in the past as the season winds down it's fun to imagine how deep and difficult this rotation maybe with the others in good form. I feel like the team just hasn't had all 5 starters in good form for some time, whether it's because of injuries or Darvish's slow start coming off his own elbow injury. I've tempered my expectations on this teams ultimate upside but I strongly think they have easily the best roster in the division. I think as an organization it would be incredibly disappointing if they're not able to outrace 2 teams in Stl. and Milwaukee that clearly aren't going far even if they make the postseason. My expectations are at the very least to win the division and if they don't achieve that goal I'd expect some major changes to be made to this roster

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