The Cubs continued their hot start on Monday night, defeating the Royals 2-0 and extending their winning streak to four games. Their record now stands at 8-2. The Monday game was somewhat mundane. There was some good pitching on both sides, some strong defense by the Cubs in particular, and not a whole lot of tension.
The Cubs are playing very good baseball. Finally, the last two days the bullpen has posted a string of zeroes. Just as it was too soon to declare the bullpen a lost cause a couple of days ago, it is too soon to say that they have righted the ship. But maybe, just maybe some of the relievers are getting into a groove.
Kris Bryant returned to the lineup and provided a spark for the offense to help lead the offense. A healthy, productive Kris Bryant can be a dominating force in the Cubs lineup. Hopefully, he gets onto a bit of a tear here. He can be quite a weapon at the top of the lineup and his presence on the bases makes it harder to shift for Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber behind him.
For now, the Cubs keep rolling with the starting pitching leading the way. It can be a lot of fun to watch, even with guys who largely don’t light up the radar gun or have over powering stuff. Jose Quintana worked out again before the game. He appears to be getting close to whatever a rehab assignment looks like in 2020. I would not be stunned if that looks like throwing out of the bullpen as he rebuilds pitch count. Quintana had a down 2019, but still figured to be the fourth starter this year with Tyler Chatwood and Alec Mills competing for a single spot. Pitcher injuries are piling up all over baseball. On top of pandemic related absences, pitching depth can be tested. Having six available starters would be a real good problem to have.
Game 10, August 3: Cubs 2, Royals 0 (8-2)
- Superhero: Alec Mills (.463). Mills threw seven scoreless, walking three and allowing three hits. He struck out four.
- Hero: Kris Bryant (.238). Two hits (double, homer) and a walk in four plate appearances.
- Sidekick: Rowan Wick (.113). Wick came on with two outs in the eighth, faced five hitters and retired four of them to close out the game. David Ross replaced Craig Kimbrel as closer with no hubbub at all.
- Billy Goat: Anthony Rizzo (-.110). One hit in four at bats, but he batted with Bryant on base twice without doing any damage.
- Goat: Willson Contreras (-.107). Hitless in four at bats.
- Kid: Jason Heyward (-.070). Hitless in three at bats.
WPA Play of the Game: Kris Bryant’s solo homer with two outs in the seventh inning gave the Cubs some breathing room. (.114)
*Royals Play of the Game: With the bases loaded in a scoreless game and no outs in the fifth inning, Danny Duffy got Anthony Rizzo to pop up. (.077)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Tyler Chatwood +6
- Jeremy Jeffress, Alec Mills +5
- Nico Hoerner -3.5
- Jason Heyward -4
- Anthony Rizzo -5
Up Next: Game two of the four-game home and home series will be played at Wrigley Field tonight. Kyle Hendricks will look to bounce back from a rough outing. He’ll face Brady Singer for the Royals. Vegas has the Cubs as substantial favorites to keep things rolling.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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