It almost seemed like the loss that the Cubs took from the Reds awoke a sleeping Giant(I’ll save this for their series against San Francisco). Yesterday, the Cubs came roaring back and pummelled the Reds 9-0.
Anthony Rizzo put on a hitting clinic by hitting two home runs. Rizzo is a hitting machine this season going yard eight times. He’s in good company and now belongs in the top 20 all time Cubs with 109 moon shots. He’s only 26.
“It’s just baseball,” Rizzo said. “I opened up my stance a little bit but nothing out of the ordinary.”
On the other side of the plate, Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings giving up only three to improve his record to 3-0. The Cubs are in third place with an ERA of 2.51 and second in strikeouts. Hammel is second in the majors in ERA with .75.
“The offence gives us chances to go out there and be aggressive in the strike zone,” Hammel said. “Where you usually get into trouble is when you’re not throwing strikes. As a starting staff, we want to be the backbone, we want to be that foundation. I feel we’ve done a good job of that so far.”
It’s funny because my spell check picked up “Hammer” instead of Hammel.
With the win, the Cubs sit at second place overall and first in the National league Central division.
The difference with the Cubs this season is they’re hitting the ball a lot. Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Well, it’s the same in baseball. Is there a different approach to the way the Cubs have been outscoring their opponents in 2016? Is it more batting practice?
“If they need it, go ahead and do it,” said Joe Maddon. “We have cages inside that accomplish the same thing. If you want to see where the ball goes, come outside. Guys working on hitting the other way or keeping the ball out of the air, do it outside. But, just to come out here and stretch out … not a big advocate of that.”
The Cubs return to Wrigley Field tomorrow when the’ll host the Milwaukee Brewers. Kyle Hendricks gets the start. Although, Hendricks is 1-2 for the season, I believe we haven’t seen what Hendricks can do. The success of the first four will determine how he can improve. Tomorrow could be a turning point in Hendricks’ season.