Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs Recap: Hammel sharp as Cubs mow over Reds to sweep series

Apr 14, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) delivers in he first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) delivers in he first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Before the Colorado Rockies roll into Wrigleyville, the Chicago Cubs continued to shine as they completed the three-game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds. They received another fantastic start from right-hander Jason Hammel who also drove in a run with his bat.

61. 8. 9. Final. 1

Boy, this team is exciting to watch, aren’t they? If you were to tell me that the Chicago Cubs would be 8-1 to start the month of April, I would probably believe you. So far they’ve swept the Los Angeles Angels, took three out of four from the Arizona Diamondbacks and now all three from their N.L. Central rival.

Last year’s National League Rookie of the Year winner Kris Bryant started out the game in left field and crushed his second home run in as many games. Bryant hammered a pitch just inside the left-field foul pole on Thursday but found the fourth or fifth row in left-center field during the bottom half of the second inning.

The Cubs continued to capitalize with runners in scoring position later on in the fifth inning when Hammel sent a pitch out to right-center field for his first double of the year. Hammel’s extra base knock set him up to cross home plate on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Ben Zobrist. This extended the lead to three runs.

Jason (1-0, 0.75 ERA) pitched exceptionally well for the Cubbies, holding the Reds (5-4) to four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in six scoreless innings of work.

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Skipper Joe Maddon would pull him from the game after the sixth and opted to roll with the former Red, southpaw Travis Wood. Wood picked up his first hold of the season, setting the table for both Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm.

And to make things better, this team who averages seven runs a game, decided to turn it up a notch during the home half of the eighth. Bryant, who homered earlier in the game, worked a one-out walk with a pinch-hitter due up behind him. It turned out to be Jorge Soler.

Following Soler’s walk, veteran catcher Miguel Montero loaded up the bases with a single that dropped between Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips out in right field. Just moments later, Addison Russell knocked in a pair with an RBI single, making it a four-run ballgame.

Villanova Alumni. Matt Szczur had an opportunity to get himself an RBI with the bases loaded and did just that with yet another walk that would push across a run. But the Cubs weren’t done just yet.

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Aside from Jason Hammel, tonight’s player of the game (position wise) has to be Dexter Fowler. Fowler finished the night 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs batted in that came with the bases still juiced with pinstripes. Dexter is having himself an N.L. MVP-like start, raising his batting average and OPS to .467/1.323.

And for the first time in the series, Cincinnati was unable to score in the first inning. They did, however, manage to cut Chicago’s lead down to seven runs on a fielder’s choice before Justin Grimm slammed the door on the series. Tonight’s win keeps the Cubs in first place.

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