It has been a rough season at start for the Chicago Cubs, having a win loss record of 1-6 placing them fourth in the National League Central. Coming off a loss Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs looked too even the season series at 1-1. For the Cubs, Cole Hamels (0-0, 9.00 ERA) was coming off a rough season debut where he gave up five earned runs and allowed six hits with one of those hits being a grand slam. Hamels only managed to pitch five innings against the Texas Rangers, a game the Cubs would later lose 11-10.
On the mound for the Brewers was Corbin Burnes (0-0, 7.20 ERA). He also did not have a good first outing to the season for the Brewers after allowing four runs against the St. Louis Cardinals.
On Saturday, the Cubs made a decision to option right-hand pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. to Triple-A Iowa as he has struggled early on to start the season just like many of the Cubs pitchers who have already amassed a 7.85 ERA. Cubs also put southpaw Mike Montgomery on the IL with a lat injury. Following those moves, the Cubs recalled left-hander Kyle Ryan and right-hander Allen Webster from Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs hitters as a team have hit for a batting average of .307 and scored 46 runs since the beginning of the season. It has been viewed as a strong point so far for the cubs and they will look to stay on track. The Cubs also have an OBP of .394. For the Brewers, the team has a batting average of .259 with 41 hits on the season.
To start the game off Saturday, Burnes was able to retire the first of three cubs hitters in the top of first. Then, in the bottom of the first, the Brewers were the first to strike on the scoreboard after center fielder Lorenzo Cain hit a solo home run to deep center field. Right after, Hamels would get out of the inning after not allowing another run.
In the top of the second, Kyle Schwarber was able to hit a single to deep right field. Cubs left-fielder Jason Heyward was able to belt one to right field. It was a two-run home run that would put the cubs up 2-1. Heyward has had a strong start of the season by posting a batting average of .294 in 24 at-bats. Yes, I know it’s still early but it’s always great to see good strides early on in the season from any player. It’s also worth to be noted that he has a .OBP of .308 so far. Later on in the bottom of the second, Cain was able to knock in another run as he hit a sac-fly deep to center.
The Cubs put on an offensive clinic Saturday. In the top of the fourth, Heyward hit a single and got to second on a past ball. Right after, Cubs catcher Victor Caratini hit a home run to right field. Later on in the sixth, Javier Baez who is returning off a breakout season, belted a home run to center field barely getting out, hitting the top of the wall making the score 5-2. Albert Almora would then hit a RBI single to score Schwarber after reaching on base by getting walked. Cole Hamels was even able to get in on the fun after hitting a sac-fly.
Corbin Burnes was roughed up once again by the Cubs after only pitching five innings allowing a total of six hits and seven earned runs. Opposite of him, Cole was dealing Saturday having pitched six innings and allowing only two earned runs; he also fanned five batters. It was great to see a bounce back game for the southpaw after struggling his first time out as he was able to get his first win of the season. After the second inning, he was able to pitch four scoreless frames and then was replaced by relief pitcher Kyle Ryan. Then just when we thought are bullpen problems were hopefully fixed, Ryan Braun belted a three run home run into the right field seats.
What a Day for Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward had himself a day at the plate hitting another home run in the top of the eighth for his second of the day. That makes three home runs in two games. We all hope to see more from the veteran when it comes to the offense. The Cubs would definitely benefit from his contributions in the lineup. As he already does on the defensive side, Heyward would spark an inning where the Cubs would score a total of seven runs.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 6, 2019
Anthony Rizzo would add two more runs after hitting a double to left. David Bote would then hit another double to score another three runs. Victor Caratini added some insurance by scoring in one more run before the end of the inning. The Cubs bullpen was still a noticeable struggle as it then allowed another three-run home run in the bottom of the inning to Eric Thames. Steve Cishek came in to close for the Cubs in the ninth, giving the cubs are second win of the season which ended an ugly losing skid of six games.
The Cubs’ offense carried throughout the game as the bullpen would struggle for another game. Theo Epstein is going to have to make some additions and it is unclear if he will explore the option for trading for a new arm or keep searching from within. Before the game Saturday, Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein met with the press to address some of the obvious concerns surrounding the team by taking the blame and saying “ultimately it’s all my responsibility.” Signing Craig Kimbrel would help the cause to making the bullpen better but the money that he wants is something the Cubs can not afford, as it has been known that they have been very tight when it comes to money this off-season.
The Cubs will face the Brewers for the series finale tomorrow. On the mound for the Cubs Sunday will be right-hander Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 4.15 ERA). He will face off against Brewers Zach Davies (0-0, 3.60 ERA). We all hope for the Cubs to build off this win and carry on the success. Hendricks will also look to redeem himself after an outing that was cut short against the Atlanta Braves, pitching only 4.1 innings.
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