CI Recap (4/9/17) – Cubs 7, Brewers 4: Heyward’s Big Day Adds to Offensive Outburst

The Cubs hitters got into a groove Saturday night in an easy win over the Brewers, and the offensive outburst continued Sunday in Cheeseland. Perhaps most importantly, Jason Heyward finally looked like he was figuring things out at the plate.

Jake Arrieta took the mound to give the Cubs the series win on Sunday and the Chicago offense wasted no time spotting him a few runs. They jumped on Kyle Hendricks Light, Zach Davies, with back-to-back singles from Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant. That was followed by a walk to Ben Zobrist that loaded the bases with one out.

Addison Russell ambushed the first pitch he saw for a two-run double to dead center. Jason Heyward followed suit, ripping a two-run  triple to center on the very next pitch.

The Cubs built on the 4-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, when Schwarber smoked a long home run to dead center to make it a 5-0 edge.

It would not be that easy for the Northsiders Sunday, though. Jett Bandy doubled to lead off the Milwaukee 3rd and a two-out Arrieta walk to Eric Thames would prove costly as Cubs fan-favorite Ryan Braun blasted a three-run homer off the batter’s eye in center.

The lead had been trimmed to 5-3, but Arrieta shut things down from there. The bearded one threw four more scoreless frames and got his strikeout total up to 10.

The Cubs increased their advantage in the 7th inning, when, after a double play, BenZo lined a solo homer to right field. Russell singled on a ground ball and advanced to second on a throwing error. Heyward then singled hard up the middle (his fourth well-hit ball) to score Russell and make it 7-3.

Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a clean 8th inning, handing it off to Hector Rondon, who struck out the first two men he faced in the 9th before surrendering a homer to Domingo Santana. Wade Davis came in to throw one pitch and closed out the 7-4 Cubs win.

Stats That Matter

  • Jason Heyward had what might have been his best hitting day as a Cub. He was 2-for-5 with a triple and 3 RBI. If not for great plays by Braun, Jonathan Villar, and a possible homer-saving catch by Keon Broxton, Heyward was looking at five hits.
  • Kris Bryant is back, folks. After a three-hit game Saturday, he was 3-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base. Once Anthony Rizzo gets it going this lineup will be unstoppable.
  • Kyle Schwarber is looking just fine as a leadoff hitter: 2-for-5 with a home run and 2 runs scored. Obviously a homer is awesome, but going first to third on a hit-and-run might be even better.
  • Jake Arrieta really turned it on late: 7 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 10 K. Once again his fastball velocity stayed in the 92-93 range. I think the reduced velo is likely an early season thing or even taking a little heat off to locate pitches better. Either way I’m not too concerned.

Bottom Line

The Cubs went 4-2 on the season-opening road trip and it appears that maybe, just maybe, the swing adjustments J-Hey made are starting to work.

On Deck

The Cubs come home to celebrate their first World Series win in 108 years Monday night. Chief among the festivities, the championship banner raising. Just a warning: it will produce some emotions. Oh, there is also a game. Jon Lester takes on Alex Wood and the NL runner-up LA Dodgers. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 CT and is on ESPN and 670 the Score. Make sure to stay with Cubs Insider all day for lots of great home opener content, including some live coverage of the game.

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