Winning has become a somewhat arduous task of late for the Cubs, but they’ve found interesting new ways to provide some entertainment to even the most crestfallen fans. On Saturday night in the Crosstown Cup on the Southside, the Cubs gave what’s left of the fans watching their games a rare win as they shut out the Sox 7-0.
Following the fire sale at the deadline, some of these new regulars have become the new “big” names. Late-bloomers Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega have replaced Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, and it’s actually been with production rather than just filling spots in the lineup. Wisdom belted two more home runs Sunday while Ortega unloaded on a high Lance Lynn fastball for a grand slam in the top of the 4th.
While the offense was hanging runs, Alec Mills was doing his best to make sure there was no repeat of Friday night’s issues with a 6-0 lead. Mills commanded all of his pitches to the tune of 8.1 shutout innings before tiring late. In doing so, he outdueled one of the best pitchers in the AL and shut down one of the best lineups as well. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
Mills was fabulous on the mound and got plenty of support from the offense.
Wisdom’s shot in the 4th was nice, but Ortega’s grand slam later that inning was a dagger the way Mills was dealing.
Stats That Matter
- Mills evened up his record this year to 6-6 and lowered his ERA to 4.32. He may not be flashy, but he’s a solid back end guy.
- Wisdom now has 25 home runs and 50 RBI in just 275 plate appearances. You can do the math on extrapolating that over the course of a full season.
- Ortega has been in a slump the past two weeks, but his grand slam brings his season slash line to .297/.357/.479.
- Jason Heyward continues his climb above the Mendoza line with a 2-for-3 evening that has him up to .210 on the year.
It was nice to even up the weekend series after a wild slugfest on Friday night. Can Wisdom hit two again on Sunday? Does he have any chance to catch Jonathan India for Rookie of the Year consideration in the National League? Might be nice to have something on the line for the Cubs down the stretch other than where they’re picking in next year’s draft.
A great matchup is in store on Sunday as Kyle Hendricks takes on former Cubs farmhand Dylan Cease. Hendricks still has an outside chance at 20 wins, so getting to 15 tomorrow would help that effort. Game time is 1:10pm CT and can be seen on Marquee or NBC Sports Chicago. You can also listen to Pat and Ron on 670 The Score.