The Wrigley Field scoreboard was popping up Cubs numbers today as the Cubs had a 13-1 lead until Milwaukee scored 5 cosmetic runs in the 9th inning to make the rout sound closer.
Finally the Cubs bats came alive. Kris Bryant had two home runs, Anthony Rizzo hit a 2 run home run late, and Ben Zobrist added his fourth of the season. Willson Contreras had three hits and drove in three runs. Bryant had three hits of his own. He was also hit by a pitch. Chicago hit safely 15 times and put up a run in every inning except the 2nd.
Jake Arrieta pitched strongly for six innings in giving up one run and striking out six batters. He earned his fifth win of the season.
A few days after manager Joe Maddon coined the phrase, “Embrace the Suck”, in a direct acknowlegement of the Cubs start of the season, The Cubs busted out and played a strong game.
It wasn’t a question if this team could hit, but when. We were all waiting for the pitching to come around too. Maybe it has. We don’t know for sure. But this team is gradually gearing up. They are few games over .500 and now face the always tough San Francisco Giants who come into Wrigley Field in a rematch of last Fall’s first round opponents.
Embrace the Suck was perhaps Maddon’s wake up call to the team and the city of Chicago. It was if he was saying, “We know we can play better. We are sorry for the slow start. Give us a chance.” Chicago Cubs fans are used to losing. Chicago fans are used to watching sloppy baseball. They aren’t used to watching their beloved Cubs, now the defending Champs, play mediocre baseball. That’s what this team has been doing until Sunday’s game against the “Brew Crew.”
Even Kyle Schwarber had a hit and drove in a run. He’s batting .185 this Spring, but his average can only go up. KB leads the team with ten home runs and he is looking good at the plate, batting .303.
Now the pesky Giants come to town. The Cubs will be tested. They have to play their “A” game or they may well get beaten.
At least it’s nice to see that they have an “A” game.