The scuffling Cubs went into last week below .500 for the first time since day one of the season. While there was obvious frustration with the fans and team, many people felt that a long home stand could do the team good.
So far, it has. The Cubs had their first series sweep of the year against the Cincinnati Reds. The offense came alive scoring nine runs in two of the games and seven in the other. The conditions for offense were favorable with warm, windy days and luckily they took advantage. Highlights of that series included a Javier Baez grand slam, a Kyle Schwarber home run that almost left the ballpark in right-center field, Jon Lester missing a home run by just a few feet, and very solid performances from Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester.
The Cubs then played the Brewers, one of which was controversially postponed, and went 1-1 in the two games they did play. Despite losing 6-3 in the opener on a messy day in which Eddie Butler didn’t make it past the third with five walks, the Cubs bats came alive Sunday. Winners by the score of 13-6, Kris Bryant (.303/.411/.998) went 3-3 with two homers and two HBP which is the first time in baseball history that has happened to anyone. Rizzo and Zobrist added to the home run parade and Jason Heyward came back and had a double at the plate.
Another big story is Ian Happ, who continues to rake. Putting up a .346/.452/1.183 line, he has looked like a veteran so far. Extremely patient at the plate and not chasing bad pitches and driving the ball. He has hit safely in all games but one, and has at least reached base in every game. Tommy LaStella was optioned to AAA so they could still keep Happ on the roster after Jason Heyward came back from the DL.
Cubs will now take on the San Francisco Giants, who despite the bad record are coming in hot.