After Jameson Taillon crumbled early on in the series opener, this week's series against the first-place Brewers could have gone off the rails. Instead, the Cubs battled back to take the final two games of the series with Milwaukee's big horses on the mound and will head into Thursday's off-day just three games out in the NL Central.
3 things we learned about the Cubs this week: #3: Cody Bellinger can carry this team, even on days he doesn't dominate
If not for missing a month with a knee injury, we'd be talking about Cody Bellinger as a legitimate MVP candidate in the National League. Even so, what he's meant to this Cubs team is immeasurable (although you can bet Bellinger and his agent, Scott Boras, will look to put a number on it in free agency) - and he proved that again this week against the Brewers.
The final blow came late in Wednesday's dramatic 3-2 win, when Bellinger rocketed a ball off the leg of Milwaukee reliever Joel Payamps that rolled to third baseman Andruw Monasterio, who couldn't throw him out at first, allowing the go-ahead and what proved to be, winning, run to score. But his impact in this series went well beyond just one at-bat.
It seemed like every time Bellinger was down in the count, he fought off pitches and made Brewers pitchers work. Despite going just 2-for-12 in the series (.167), he delivered the game-winning RBI in both Cubs wins and proved to be a difference-maker, even when he wasn't putting up video game-like numbers.