After dropping the first two games in New York, and looking anemic even in a win in the 3rd, I don't think anyone was really looking forward to fireworks in the matinee affair on Monday. But that's exactly what the Cubs gave them, albeit after a pretty pedestrian start.
Kyle Hendricks did exactly what he's been doing since he came up, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits. His ERA is now sitting at 1.66 and his WHIP at 0.97; not bad for a kid who can't throw hard. But the kid isn't afraid to pitch to contact and let his defense do its job, like in this play from the 2nd inning:
The Cubs weren't able to get on the board until a Luis Valbuena single scored Anthony Rizzo in the 6th inning, but they had a bit more in store for the later innings. That's because Rizzo came up again and continued to mash, shooting his 28th homer of the season out to right.
While this one was actually against a righty, he's actually been hitting lefties better on the season. Rizzo has hit 20 of his 29 homers off of right-handed pitchers, or 1 of every 16.5 AB's, but his 8 bombs off of left-handers represent a 1-in-15.75 clip. It should come as no surprise that Rizzo's entire slash is better against his like-handed counterparts.
Then again, maybe I shouldn't really publicize that too much; it'd be just fine if teams continue to trot out left-handed relievers to try to stifle Rizzo. Maybe the Mets thought they were better off with Buddy Carlyle, but the video tells a different story. Sorry for the link, but MLB.com didn't see fit to allow for embedding on that particular clip.
So it was that the Cubs led 2-1 when Javier Baez came up in the top of the 9th with Ryan Sweeney on and Jenrry Mejía on the mound. More amazing than the home run itself was the fact that Javy managed to find an actual fan in the sea of empty seats up there in the second deck.
Still, neither the liner from Rizzo nor the moon shot from Baez even approaches the drive Richard Kind hit at Citi Field back on July 30th:
And that just about sums up my feelings on what Shark Week has become.
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