Just like that, the Chicago Cubs are among baseball’s hottest teams after a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins. With the win, the Cubs are back on top of the NL Central. With home runs delivered by Kris Bryant and Albert Almora JR.
Alma Jr’s home run in particular, was a special thing considering he’d like to play everyday but with the arrival of Ian Happ, playing time has diminished.
“If I say no, I’m a liar,” Almora said. “I’m a competitor and I want to play, but it’s not about me. It’s about the Chicago Cubs and winning another World Series. I’m happy to be here and happy to help in whatever way I can. Tonight, they gave me an opportunity and I’m glad I helped out.”
If that’s what it takes to put the wins on the board, then perhaps juggling Almora for Happ on a regular basis might be the thing to do or getting the RISP up and getting them home is the key. Last night, the Cubs delivered on that. If the wind was blowing out, then the Cubs might have had more runs scored.
“The lake did injure us a bit, but it also got them on the fly ball by [Christian] Yelich to left [in the first],” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We did hit the ball better than the 3-1 [score], but that’s how the ballpark plays some days.”
Which is one of the treasured jewels of Wrigley Field, and the most frustrating. In fact, it takes away the home field advantage when the wind is blowing in.
“In [batting practice], we were crushing balls,” Almora said. “You try not to do too much in these situations. You know if you hit the ball hard, it’s going to go.”
Then it changes.
The feel good story of the game was Almora hitting his home run. A Miami boy, his friends and family were watching back home. For a guy who doesn’t have regular playing time, the home run took on a special meaning.
“I’m just happy I’m able to represent my family back home,” Almora said. “I just do it for them. When I give them the chance to see their son or their friend go out there and have success, I’m just happy it happened.”
With their fourth straight win, the winds have changed in the Cubs favour and as Jake Arrieta gets the call today for his fourth start at Wrigley Field this season, the Cubs will try to improve on those numbers and once again become baseball’s best team.