The Chicago Cubs (89-48) are making a mockery of the NL Central playoff race. And their bench may be the most comprehensive corps in the league.
Monday saw two reserves—Chris Coghlan and Miguel Montero—combine for three RBI in five at-bats and scored two runs in Chicago’s 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers (60-77).
Chicago will look to keep rolling behind Jason Hammel (14-7, 3.14 ERA) on Tuesday at Miller Park. Hammel turned around two-game losing streak in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing just one run on three hits and six strikeouts over six innings.
In his career, Hammel has handled the Brewers without much resistance. Over 14 starts, he’s 10-1 with a 2.50 ERA. This year, he’s 1-1, tossing seven scoreless innings at Wrigley against the Brew-Crew.
Overall, the Cubs are 10-3 against the Crew in 2016, going undefeated at home and 4-3 in Milwaukee.
At 7-3 in their last 10 games and 16.5 games up in the division, it seems logical for Cubs starters to expect more days off down the stretch.
“I give them a lot of credit, because it would be easy to turn the dimmer switch down a bit, and they have not,” Coach Joe Maddon said. “They’ve gone the other way.”
Milwaukee had won four straight before Chicago came to town. Behind righty Wily Peralta (5-9, 5.58 ERA), they are looking to find their winning ways again.
Peralta has had a rough season to say the least. In 96 innings, he’s given up 121 hits and 59 earned runs. When he was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs in June, Peralta had the league’s worst ERA among qualified starters at 6.68.
Since being recalled, he’s gone 1-2 with two no-decisions in five starts. His last outing against St. Louis was his best of the season, tossing seven innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out 10.