After picking up a series win over the Mariners on Sunday evening, Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs opened up a three-game set against the Miami Marlins Monday evening. Would legendary outfielder Ichiro Suzuki record his 2,999th hit?
Tonight was an all-around solid performance from the first-place Chicago Cubs (64-41) who dropped three out of four to the Miami Marlins (57-49) in their previous meeting. Miami currently holds onto the second Wild Card spot, proving that they are a different team in 2016.
But that wasn’t stopping right-hander Kyle Hendricks (10-7, 2.24 ERA) who gave up seven hits but worked his third career complete game while issuing two walks and recording five strikeouts in the 5-0 win over the visiting Fish.
Hendricks not only dominated on the mound, he even helped his own cause by grounding a pitch out into left field, scoring Willson Contreras from third, making it a 3-0 ballgame.
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Shortstop Addison Russell tallied the first two runs of the ballgame during the home half of the very first inning on a line drive off the glove of the glove of the man who downed the Cardinals, Derek Dietrich.
Russell’s RBI knock drove in both center fielder Dexter Fowler and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, making it 2-0 in favor of the home team. Rizzo had himself a fantastic day at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with a walk, and a few extra base hits.
Moments after Hendricks drove in a run, Fowler was given a RBI on a sacrifice fly out to center field, scoring left fielder Matt Szczur. Szczur singled with one out in the frame following Willson’s five-pitch walk.
And then you have the Contreras and Javier Baez connection. Javier has applied a few impressive tags on base runners who were attempting to swipe second base and did the same tonight with speedy infielder Dee Gordon standing on first in the fifth inning.
Rizzo led off the home half of the sixth inning with his third triple of the season on a line drive out to right field. MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton tried to make a leaping grab but missed the ball, resulting in Anthony cruising into third with a standing triple.
Kyle Hendricks took the mound in the ninth and looked as if he was going to be pulled with two outs and Aroldis Chapman throwing in the bullpen. That was until J.T. Realmuto grounded into a game-ending double-play to lock up Chicago’s 64th win of the season.