So far, the second half of the 2016 campaign has gone well for the Chicago Cubs who are currently 5-2 since returning from the All-Star break. They made a trade to bulk their bullpen and activated Dexter Fowler from the disabled list ahead of yesterday’s series opener in Milwaukee.
And I’ll say it again — it feels great to see Fowler at the top of Joe Maddon‘s lineup. Chicago struggled with him on the disabled list, dropping more than a handful of games over the course of that 24 game stretch before their All-Stars reported to San Diego.
But that drought is behind us and as mentioned before, the Chicago Cubs are playing fantastic baseball. Nothing like taking a break and coming back with the same energy they entered the new campaign with.
Now, before the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers took the field, former Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman threw the first pitch.
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Tillman spent 13 years in the National Football League, 12 of them with the Monsters of the Midway before parting ways with the organization that drafted him when he was only 22-years-old. He later took his seat wearing a Cubs jersey.
The Chicago-native signed a one-day contract with the Bears in order to retire as a member of the franchise. There is no doubt that Peanut is one of the best defensive backs, not only in Chicago Bears history but the NFL as a whole.
So while he was enjoying his first few days as a retired player, his Chicago Cubs were doing work on the diamond. Jason Hammel pitched five innings, holding the Brewers to two earned runs including a big fly courtesy of Ryan Braun who has always been a thorn in Chicago’s side.
Still, this offense was able to back Hammel with four runs before he was pulled. Fowler smashed a solo home run off the batters eye in his first at-bat since returning from the disabled list and later lined a pitch down the left field line, driving in a few more runs which gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.
Chicago needs to take at least two of three from Milwaukee considering how well the St. Louis Cardinals have played. Tonight, John Lackey will take the mound opposite Zach Davies in hopes of winning his first outing since June 8th.