CHICAGO, IL – The Cubs returned to action on Thursday to cap off their three-game home stand against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs looked to take their third consecutive series, following up wins in St. Louis and Milwaukee.
Today’s pitching match-up featured Brett Anderson opposing Hyun-Jin Ryu, both looking to break into the win column on the season. In the bottom of the first, Anthony Rizzo launched his first home run on the year to right field. Right before the homer, Kyle Schwarber was forced out on a fielders choice, preventing two runs from scoring. Nonetheless, the Cubs picked up an early 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
This season, the MLB has made it their duty to cut down review plays to try to pick up the pace of play. Ironically, in the third, umpires took around four minutes just to review what seemed to be a simple out or safe call on an Enrique Hernandez fly ball to center. Not the best look for the MLB replay supporters. I personally think replays have no place in baseball, but that argument is for a different time and place, or maybe for a different blog. Back to the game.
Through the first four frames, the game looked like a replay of last night’s game between the two squads. Only this time, the Cubs scored in the first. Scary scene in the fourth as Anderson was looked at by the Cubs medical staff after fielding a ground ball from Yasmani Grandal. He would be fine, thankfully, after some concern over his back. In the bottom of the inning, Addison Russell connected on a 1-1 fastball to make the score 2-0, his first of the year.
In the fifth, Anderson’s control started to diminish as he walked Ryu and immediately got behind Logan Forsythe. But after gathering himself, he battled back to strikeout Forsythe and reduce the Dodgers threat. Shortly after, Anderson gave up a single to Corey Seager, then walked Justin Turner on four pitches, loading the bases. Hot hitting Yasiel Puig stepped up to the plate in a pivotal moment in the ballgame. But Anderson forced Puig to foul out to first, ending the inning.
Javier Baez led off the fifth with a single, with Jon Jay warming up on-deck to pinch-hit for Anderson. Jay was hit by a pitch, bringing Schwarber up to the plate. Schwarber then singled off of first baseman Scott Van Slyke‘s glove, allowing Baez to score from second, making the score 3-0. Jay advanced to third on the play. Rizzo then singled right, scoring Jay. But Schwarber was thrown out at home trying to score. The Cubs ended the fifth with a 4-0 lead.
Carl Edwards, JR. took over for Anderson moving forward and pitched 2 scoreless innings, the sixth and seventh, before being replaced by Koji Uehara. Wade Davis closed out the ballgame for the Cubs, giving them the series win.
Anthony Rizzo: 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
Addison Russell: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Corey Seager: 1-4
The Cubs rebounded today, playing well all around. The bullpen was lights out, thanks to Edwards Jr., Uehara and Davis.
Anderson pitched well but was inconsistent at times and seemed to have some flare-ups in his back. Hopefully his back won’t be a problem moving forward, as his solid outing is a good sign of things to come.
The Cubs return to action tomorrow versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, continuing their championship home stand.
First Pitch: 1:20 PM (CT)
Radio: 670 The Score