Chicago Cubs sweep Detroit Tigers; Anthony Rizzo underrated, underappreciated

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs ran a season-long win streak to six games on Wednesday, completing a sweep of a lowly Detroit Tigers ball club in front of a packed house.

When the Cincinnati Reds handed the Chicago Cubs a sweep a couple weeks back, everyone – and I mean everyone – jumped off the proverbial bridge. Since that point, however, Joe Maddon‘s club won seven of nine games. That includes a pair of series sweeps at home – one against Minnesota and one against the Tigers.

The latter came on the Fourth of July behind left-hander Jose Quintana, who turned in a gutsy performance. After falling behind early, Chicago rallied behind incredible baserunning from Javier Baez, who stole home with another magnificent slide, and a big day from Willson Contreras.

Chicago enjoys a well-deserved day off Thursday before welcoming the Reds into Wrigley for a weekend series. Looking for redemption against a surging Cincinnati club, this weekend could make for some good baseball.

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Mike Montgomery, still filling in for the injured Yu Darvish, gets the ball in the opener. On that front, things remain murky with the right-hander’s status. The same can be said for Kris Bryant, who was originally supposed to come off the disabled list Wednesday. Instead, he’s still experiencing weakness and pain in his shoulder. Maddon said he’ll be reevaluated on Friday.

Aside from the game itself, we delved into Anthony Rizzo. 2018 continues an up-and-down pattern for the Cubs first baseman. But, at the end of the day, we’re pretty confident he’s going to wind up where he always does – 30 homers, 100 RBI. Despite his remarkable consistency and elite defense, too many fans still take him for granted.

During this win streak, the offense has been white hot. Even playing from behind means nothing to this group – a telling sign for a club with postseason aspirations. Carrying momentum into the All-Star Break would be a huge boost to a team that plays exceptionally well in the second half under Maddon.

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These and other stories you may have missed

Time to move on from Heyward, Schwarber – Cubbies Crib

Everything still up the air on Bryant, Darvish – Bleacher Nation

Rizzo somehow underrated, underappreciated – Cubbies Crib

Gardner’s pace of play fine is a joke – Call to the Pen

Offense seeing ball well during win streak – Cubbies Crib

Next: Resurgent Hendricks is the key to this rotation

What’s Next

Chicago welcomes the Cincinnati Reds to Wrigley Field for a weekend showdown. Mike Montgomery takes the ball in Friday’s opener opposite Tyler Mahle.