A new weekly feature here at The Loop Sports will be the “Three Up, Three Down” series, in which we give you three players that excelled over the previous week, as well as three players who’s performance was not so excellent.
It’s been a rocky week for the defending World Series Champions after opening their home schedule with all of the festivities that follow a World Championship, and taking two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers, before they were swept by the Pirates over the weekend, and then dropped a game to the Brewers on Monday night that saw John Lackey doll up not one, not two, but three long-balls to sink the Cubs record to under .500, at 6-7.
Anthony Rizzo (1B): Rizzo has been the hottest player on the north side of Chicago over the last seven days, and really the only player who can be considered “hot” over that same span. Rizzo has collected nine hits in 21 at-bats including a pair of doubles, a home run, and two RBI. Rizzo has also tallied two walks, and a pair of stolen bases over the last week.
Mike Montgomery (LHP): Believe it or not, despite a rough opening week in which he was on the wrong end of two walk off hits by opposing teams, Mike Montgomery has been the most reliable bullpen option over the last seven days. In three appearances, Montgomery has allowed just one earned run and struck out three over the course of five innings pitched.
Jason Heyward (OF): Despite a spring campaign that paralleled his 2016 performance, Jason Heyward has looked impressive in the first two weeks of the 2017 season, collecting six hits in 22 at-bats this last week, including an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.
Willson Contreras (C): The rookie catcher has handled working with Jon Lester pretty well for the most part, and even threw out a pair of base-runners in his last start, but his bat has been ice cold over the last week. Contreras has only been able to muster up two hits in 16 at-bats this week, while striking out six times.
Justin Grimm (RHP): In a bullpen that has been pretty bad this past week, Grimm has been the worst. In his three appearances he allowed four earned runs while lasting just 2.1 IP, and also issued a pair of free passes. Opponents are hitting a whopping .375 against him over the last seven days, and he now carries a 9.53 ERA on the season, with an opposing batting average of .300.
Kyle Hendricks (RHP): The defending ERA leader from the 2016 season is off to a rough start to this campaign, and his second turn around the rotation was not kind to him as he allowed three runs on six hits and two walks as he took the loss. Hendricks is now sitting at 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA on the season.