OSS: Ian Happ blasts a HR to lead an exhausted Cubs team past the Reds.
- Things weren’t looking great for the offense, but it all changed on one swing of the bat by Happ. It was his first hit in over a week.
- Cole Hamels gave up back to back jacks to Joey Votto (not so surprising) and Jose Peraza (wut), but was otherwise what the Cubs needed with a gassed/injured bullpen. Hamels struck out seven in 6.2 innings.
- Joe said it was going to be a different crew to close out this game, and it was Maples-Garcia-De la Rosa that picked things up from Hamels and hung on for the W. The ninth was a bit of an adventure, but Garcia’s inning looked nothing like his ‘start’ last weekend, thank the maker.
- It looks like Pedro Strop is donezo for the regular season. I wouldn’t expect much in the postseason either, considering how little Joe trusted a similarly recently injured Strop in 2016.
- It was not a great day for The Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time, who went 0-4 today. Despite yesterday’s litany of complaints against Maddon I do like how he’s been rotating guys through the leadoff spot this year, challenging the very definition of the Lead Off Guy.
- The Cubs best scoring chance was in the fourth inning, when they had two on with no outs against Harvey. Bote hit into a DP and suddenly it was Hamels up with two out, fizzling the rally before it ever really started.
Next up: Jon Lester takes on Cody Reed at 3 PM CT.
Also, I’ll be in the Chicago burbs for work Sun-Wed: if anyone here wants to grab a beer somewhere let me know.