A Tip of the Recap – 8/20 (Cubs 9, Rockies 2)

Cubs Record: 78-44 (1st in NL Central, 12.5 games ahead of Cardinals)

W: Trevor Cahill (4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4H, 1BB, 4K)

L: Jeff Hoffman (4 IP, 7R, 6ER, 1BB, 2K)

MVP: Mike Montgomery (for a pretty good start despite being a bullpen guy)

After a tough extra-innings loss yesterday, the Cubs weren’t rocky (see what I did there) at all as they rebounded with a 9-2 victory.

Mike Montgomery took the mound for the Cubs and he was pretty darn good! His pitching performance was backed by good run support by the Cubs too. Though Montgomery only lasted4 1/3 innings, the Cubs got four runs for him in their half of the 4th giving him a comfortable cushion.

The 4th started with four consecutive hits. The first was a single by Dexter Fowler, who then advanced to third on a botched pick-off attempt by Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman. He came home on a Kris Bryant single, putting the Cubs up 1-0. Then came up Anthony Rizzo, who singled to put men on the corners with nobody out.

Ben Zobrist was up next and he ripped a double to center field, scoring Bryant and putting the Cubs up 2-0. The other two runs in the inning came off of a two-out RBI single by Miguel Montero.

That really was all the offense the Cubs needed. The Rockies managed to get single tallies in the 5th and 6th innings but could never really get anything going offensively.

The Good 

Mike Montgomery may have only pitched 4 1/3 innings, but he made them count. He surrendered just one hit, a solo home run to Nick Hundley. He walked two men while striking out five and his ERA isn’t too bad either at 2.41.

Kris Bryant just KEEPS ON HITTING. He was 2-for-5 today and drove in four runs. Along with his RBI single in the 4th, Bryant launched his 31st home run of the season in the 5th inning. It was a three-run bomb and he keeps proving that there is nothing he can’t do. Just a few games ago, Bryant joined an elite club by becoming just the 5th player in Cubs history to have a 30-home run season at age 24 or earlier. He’s adding to his MVP resume every day. 

Trevor Cahill came in to relieve Montgomery of his starting duties and carried the Cubs all the way to the end. He gave up only one run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings.

That one Cubs fan kid who stuck to Wrigley tradition and threw Nick Hundley’s home run ball back onto the field falls into the good category too. Despite being escorted out for your deed, you, my friend, are Cubs Nation’s hero. Here is the video if you missed it!

The Bad

The Rockies defense had two errors today, both of which eventually cost them a run. The first error was in the 4th when the pitcher, Jeff Hoffman, threw the ball away on a pick-off attempt allowing Dexter Fowler to advance two bases. He of course scored on Kris Bryant’s single. The other miscue came in the 5th, when Ryan Raburn failed to field a ball that allowed Cubs starter Mike Montgomery to get on base. He was along for the ride on Kris Bryant’s thome run. The common theme in this game was, “Make an error, Kris Bryant makes you pay.”

The Ugly

Colorado’s starter Jeff Hoffman had a very ugly outing. He pitched just four full innings and gave up four runs. Then in the very next inning, he gave up a three run homer before recording a single out and was pulled from the game. It should also be noted that Hoffman’s ERA is 13.50 (though this was his first career start.

Coming Attractions

Cubs will play the rubber match tomorrow at 3:10 p.m. CT. They will send Jason Hammel to the mound in the midst of the best stretch of his career. He has six wins and an ERA under 1.00 since the All-Star Break. He is also riding a 22-inning scoreless steak.

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