Well, this team isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. After taking the first two games from the Los Angeles Angels to open up the 2016 campaign, the Chicago Cubs returned home to finish them off with another two-game sweep.
Alright, if you were to tell me that the Chicago Cubs were going to silence but Albert Pujols and Mike Trout during a four-game series, I’d tell you that you were nuts. Pujols has made this club miserable throughout his big league career and loves hitting at Wrigley.
While Trout, on the other hand, has been a thorn in the side of nearly every team he has come across in his young career. It wasn’t the case in 2016. The Cubs (71-41) pitched well against both sluggers.
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Hammel worked seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball, issuing only two walks, and recording six strikeouts before Pedro Strop entered the game in the eighth inning. Strop would end up leaving the game due to injury after sliding and attempting to make a throw at first.
At first, it looked as if he was capable of putting pressure on his left leg until the trainers came out and had to help him back to the clubhouse. It was reported by Carrie Muskat on Twitter that he will have an MRI on Thursday.
Hopefully, it isn’t serious. Losing Pedro would be a huge blow to this bullpen, but Carl Edwards Jr. came in and was able to shut down Trout and got Pujols to ground out to Ben Zobrist. Pujols was credited with a RBI.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo tallied the first run of the ballgame on a single to second baseman Gregorio Petit, scoring Kris Bryant from second. Bryant nearly crushed another home run but the ball died on the warning track, bouncing off the ivy-covered brick wall.
Dexter Fowler later made it a 2-0 lead for Hammel in the fifth. Fowler turned on the third pitch of his at-bat and sent it out to left field for his 21st double of the campaign. Jason Heyward scored on the play.
Tomorrow, the Chicago Cubs welcome in the St. Louis Cardinals with a 12 game lead in the N.L. Central between the two.