Bats are the key to extending streak
It’s hard to find a player on the Chicago Cubs struggling at the dish right now.
Let’s start with Javier Baez. Since the break, the young infielder owns an OPS north of 1.400 – including a pair of homers and two doubles. Jason Heyward is batting .429 over his last six and Addison Russell comes in at a hot .409 clip.
But the world-beater here has been Willson Contreras.
The Cubs’ catcher heated up prior to the Midsummer Classic and continued his hot hitting over the past week. In the last six games, Contreras owns a .409/.458/.818 slash-line – with two homers, three doubles and seven runs batted in.
Since the DFA of Miguel Montero, Contreras stepped up to lead this team. Pitching improved and he’s led by example in terms of offense, sometimes seemingly willing Chicago to big wins and clutch at-bats. Of-late, he’s shown exactly how dangerous he can be and how infectious his energy is on this team.
Bryzzo heating up
Oh, and don’t forget about Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. The latter already owns three second-half dingers. Bryant, meanwhile, escaped a gnarly hand injury against Atlanta and is batting nearly .400 since the break.
As usual, this series represents the best of baseball. Both teams always seem to step up their game when they do battle. And, if they can continue their winning ways, Chicago may end the weekend atop the National League Central.