By: Alex Patt
The Chicago Cubs will be returning home today after a week on the road in Atlanta and Cincinnati. Overall they went 4-2 with one game in Atlanta being postponed. Cubs took 3/4 against the last place Reds after splitting the two games they did play in Atlanta. Their record is improved to 25-19.
Outside two very frustrating losses, both which the Cubs stranded a ton of baserunners, Cubs did a lot of good things the past week. They really should have lost the opener in Atlanta, several calls on the basepaths went the Cubs way including an out at home and an out stealing third that were very questionable. Even so, they trailed 2-1 in the ninth until Addison Russell hit a game-tying double and a go-ahead single by Ben Zobrist. The next game veteran and Cubs nemesis Brandon McCarthy allowed only one run and the Braves rallied for three runs in the eight inning.
In Cincinnati they scored 28 runs total and saw solid pitching performances from Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish. Each of them gave up one earned run or less. Quintana gave up just one hit and no runs in seven innings on Saturday evening. Lester struck out eight batters in six innings on Friday and Yu Darvish struck out seven on Sunday. The one loss on Saturday afternoon (game one of a DH) saw the Cubs go 1-16 with RISP and walking Billy Hamilton with the bases loaded in extras to fall 5-4. Take away that loss, the Reds scored only two combined runs in the other three games.
While the Cubs had not been scoring many runs via the longball recently, they did hit a few in the finale against the Reds with shots from Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist. Also history was made Saturday night when Ian Happ hit the 14,000 home run in Chicago Cubs history. Speaking of Happ, he has been hot recently as his slash line .254/.361/.870 with seven homers this season. His five intentional walks, three coming in one game in Cincinnati, are now tied with the number of times he was intentionally put on all season.
Cubs will take on the Cleveland Indians Tuesday at Wrigley Field.