The Chicago Cubs finished their series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. And in a weekend that was filled with national hype about Ryne Sandberg’s managerial debut against the Cubs (in Wrigley Field), there was plenty of baseball to be played. Both teams were looking to win Sunday’s battle after splitting the first two games of the series.
The Cubs got off to a good start right away, scoring five runs in the first four innings. Their first run came in the first inning on a single by Ryan Sweeney, who was playing in his first game since being activated from the disabled list. The Cubs got more runs on RBI doubles by Anthony Rizzo in the third, and Welington Castillo in the fourth.
The Cubs were also able to tack on two more runs in the eighth inning. Luis Valbuena, who was also activated from the disabled list, drove in a run on a bases loaded walk, and Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly.
In addition to their strong offensive showing, the Cubs also got a strong pitching performance from everyone who stepped on the rubber.
Jake Arrieta got the start for the Cubs, and he continued his dominance in a Cubs uniform. His “quality” start consisted of pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing only one run on three hits. The lone run he gave up was on a solo home run to Darin Ruf in the fourth inning. It is starting to get to the point where fans are expecting a great start from Arrieta each time he takes the mound.
Not only did the Cubs get a good outing by their starting pitcher (they’ve actually had quite a few of those), but they also got great performances from every guy that came out of the bullpen. James Russell, Pedro Strop, and Blake Parker combined to give up just one hit and one walk in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. That is something that Cubs fans have not seen very much of this year, and it surely was a good sight to see.
The Cubs improved their record to 58-78, and are in last place in the NL Central. On the bright side, the Cubs are a perfect 1-0 so far in the month of September. They also start a three game series against the Marlins on Monday, who they beat three out of four times when they met in Miami back in April.