Now that was a great bounce back win for the Cubs. A really solid outing by Kyle Hendricks as well. It was nice to see the Cubs come back from a tough day, a tough loss, yesterday. It’s feels a little too early in the season to say this is a season-changing, character-building series, but honestly, it really is.
With this win, the Cubs beat one of the elite pitchers in the game and they did it by getting to him early and forcing him to throw a lot of pitches. Of course, that’s how you beat any pitcher but it’s especially important when you play an elite-level guy like Greinke. Let’s check out some highlights (and here’s your box score).
- Kyle Hendricks was outstanding tonight. It was nothing fancy, and of course we’d never expect that from Kyle, but it was simply solid, smart, and easy flowing baseball. He looked very comfortable throughout. He pitched 6.2 innings and gave up two runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts. This outing was a direct extension of what we saw from Kyle in Cactus League play, good, solid, tough pitching.
- Ben Zobrist is so fundamentally good it’s silly. He worked the count full in the first inning before hitting a one out single to advance Heyward to third base. He walked in the second inning. He hit a double in the fourth to drive in a run. He hit a single in the seventh inning and finally grounded out in the ninth. It’s easy to see why Maddon has him hitting third in the order.
- Kris Bryant went 2 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI and one walk. Kris hasn’t had a very flashy start but he’s been picking it up in the last few games, which we knew he would after his slow start in the series against the Angels.
- And of course, there was Anthony Rizzo. Isn’t he always in the mix? Anthony is a special player who makes things happen in every single game he plays. So it’s no surprise that he went 1 for 3 with two walks (I love it when a player gets walks because, as boring as they are, they always force a pitcher into throwing a lot of pitches and that is always important when going up against a good pitcher). He also scored a run and drove in a run.
- Oh, and let’s not overlook Rondon, who got his first action of the year and was solid as a rock. He closed out the ninth inning to record his first save of the year as he struck out two.
This was one of those games that makes you feel really good about this team. They lost a tough one in the bottom of the ninth last night and then bounced back to beat one of the top pitchers in the National League. Feel proud Cubs kingdom, very proud.
Tomorrow we get to see Jake Arrieta pitch for the second time this year and the final game of the series against the Dbacks. Start time is 3:10 PM CDT.