The Chicago Cubs have been searching all season for a lead-off man, and may have found one in Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo, one of the Cubs power hitters, has been hitting great in his last few games leading off. He’s hit three homers including one in the Cub’s 7-1 win vs. the Pirates. Rizzo lead off the game with a double and scored on Willson Contreras’s double. Contreras had a three hit day with two doubles and three runs batted in.
More importantly, the Cubs won the series taking two out of three games vs. Pittsburgh. This was a step in the right direction. Chicago now has a 14-19 record on the road. The Cubs come back to Wrigley Field for a short three game home stand before heading out on the road again. With this win, the Cubs climbed back to .500 at 34-34.
It’s been a slow climb and no one knows the answer to the Cub’s slow start to the season. Today, they battled and pitched well enough to win. John Lackey threw 6 innings, giving up 2 hits and one run en route to his 5th win of the year. Lackey now stands at 5-7 and one hopes he has found a groove. He went 6 innings and the bull pen nailed down the win. This team has been in a funk since the season started. Cleveland started slow too but they seem to have found some momentum and now lead the American League Central Division.
Winning a series on the road is a positive development. The Cubs last went on the road and lost 6 straight on the left coast. That prompted a team meeting before the last game of the road trip, which the Cubs lost as well. But coming home, the Cubs won five in a row. It has been a strange streaky season for Chicago. If one looks at the season, it is still early. There are 94 games to play in a 162 game schedule. The weather has not really warmed up in Chicago. One has to hope that as the summer progresses, the Cubs bats will warm up too. There are signs. Rizzo has been hot. He currently has a 12 game hitting streak. The big problem so far is the lack of driving in runners in scoring position. The Cubs can get men on, the problem is getting them to score. That has to change if the Cubs have thoughts of winning their Division.
It’s a game at a time and Cub fans have been confused. Hopefully we will have a sense of how this team will fare soon.