The night had barely begun and the Chicago Cubs (91-51) already had the lead. A Dexter Fowler lead-off walk followed by a Kris Bryant double and the Cubs were up 1-0 before half the crowd had arrived. They scored nine runs before the end of the fourth inning and cruised to a 9-5 win (Box Score).
Jake Arrieta (17-6, 2.91 ERA) was strong through the first five innings, allowing only one walk and two hits, one for a home run by Jose Altuve. In the sixth inning he looked like something had gotten to him, and it had. After the game he reportedly said he was running on empty all night, not feeling well from the start (ESPN). He hung in there but when he lost it, it was clear he was done.
He uncorked two wild pitches, hit a batter, gave up a double and two singles before he was pulled by Joe Maddon. Two runs had scored before Justin Grimm came in to close out the inning with the bases loaded.
Meanwhile, the offense was clicking right along. The Cubs scored four runs in the top of the third inning off a Jorge Soler solo home run, a Javier Baez RBI-single, and an Albert Almora two-run single. That extended the score to 7-0. Two more runs came in the top of the fourth inning when Addison Russell unleashed on a 1-1 slider. He hit a towering home run that made it to the train tracks that pass over the walkway in Minute Maid Park.
Stats that matter
- For not feeling well, Jake was pretty darn good – 5.1IP, 3R, 4H, 2BB, 3Ks, HR
- Addison Russell had a monster night – 3-for-4, 3R, 2RBI, HR
- Javy Baez played a great game – 2-for-4, 2R, 1RBI
- The Cubs defense was outstanding tonight. It won’t show up in the box score but Ben Zobrist, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell all made nice plays.
The Cubs just went in and beat an Astros team that is fighting for their lives to get into the Wild Card. It was a good test for the Cubs, who’s magic number is now down to 5. They won 2-of-3 games to take the series and made a bold statement doing it. Their strong performance in this series will bode well for the Cubs as they head to St. Louis looking to wrap up the division.
The Cubs play in St. Louis starting a three-game series against the Cardinals on Monday night a 7:15 PM CT. Kyle Hendricks (14-7, 2.07 ERA) will take the ball for the Cubs.