It was a rough weekend for the Chicago Cubs who dropped two consecutive games to the Brewers. Those two games came after clinching the National League Central Division over the St. Louis Cardinals. Now it’s time to seal home-field advantage in the postseason.
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Well, we can’t expect the Chicago Cubs (95-55) to cruise through the rest of their schedule despite winning the division. Surely, teams are going to want to play spoiler from here on out with the Cubs looking to clinch home field advantage.
An advantage that will come in handy for the North Siders who currently hold the best home record in the league. Not to mention, they are still one of the best road teams in all of professional baseball.
Veteran right-hander, Jason Hammel (15-9, 3.56 ERA) took the mound tonight for Joe Maddon‘s club. Hammel fell into a 2-0 hole over the first six innings of play, giving up a home run to Brandon Phillips.
Another Cincinnati Reds (63-87) franchise player, Joey Votto, helped tally another run for his club on a single. Votto, who later replied to the Wrigley Field crowd booing him, knocked in Hernan Iribarren.
Iribarren came through with a one-out triple to right field — his third of the year which put pressure on Hammel. Jason gave up only the two earned runs on the evening behind four hits while issuing one walk, and six strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Tim Adleman (2-4, 4.06 ERA) pitched well for his club. But it wasn’t enough as the Cubs surged back with a few homers.
Chicago’s first run of the game came on a solo homer off the bat of shortstop Addison Russell in the seventh. Russell’s 21st big fly of the year was later followed by Willson Contreras‘ 10th career homer to tie the game at two a piece.
Still, in the seventh inning and only one out, outfielder Chris Coghlan lined his 11th double of the year out to right field. Center fielder Dexter Fowler knocked in Coghlan with a single, giving Chicago their first lead.
Soon-to-be National League MVP Kris Bryant ended the frame by flying out to center field. Their lead would later increase. Thanks to right fielder, Jason Heyward.
Heyward smashed a two-run shot out to left field, bringing Russell around to score with him to make it 5-2. This set up the Cubs bullpen in the eighth, starting with former closer Hector Rondon.
Rondon gave up two hits but prevented the Reds from inching closer, putting the ball in Aroldis Chapman‘s glove. Chapman issued one walk and struck out two, recording his 35th save. The Cubs are back to 40 games above .500.