Bullpen Session

Bullpen Session 4.25.19

Tied 2nd; -2.0
Streak: W W W

LAD 6 – CHC 7
The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead with Walker Buehler on cruise control through five innings. The Cubs put the brakes on Buehler in the 6th. Javy Báez launched a majestic three-run homer to left to tie the game; and three batters later, Jason Heyward lined his own three-run shot into the left field basket for a 6-3 lead. Anthony Rizzo tacked on an RBI double in the 7th. Alex Verdugo answered for the Dodgers with a three-run homer off Steve Cisheck in the 8th , pulling LA within a run, 7-6. Pedro Strop worked around a leadoff walk to Max Muncy in the ninth to earn his third save in four tries. The Cubs moved two games above .500 for the first time this season.

*A fine gesture by the Cubs to play a video from 1998 of Vin Scully leading the stretch at Wrigley. We miss you, Vin.

Báez: 1-4, HR (8), 3 RBI
Heyward: 1-4, HR (5), 3 RBI
Rizzo: 1-3, RBI, BB

Hamels:  5.1 IP — 3 R, 3 H — 6 BB, 7 K
Bullpen: 3.2 IP — 3 R, 3 H — 1 BB, 2 K

An uncharacteristic start from Cole Hamels, whose string of 22 consecutive innings without allowing a base on balls came to an abrupt halt. Hamels issued a season-high 6 free passes, his highest total in the last three seasons.

Every starter experiences pitch command issues. Still, it remains his responsibility to figure out a work-around in those situations—which Hamels did on Wednesday, gutting out 112 pitches in 5.1 innings. It won’t go down as his prettiest outing this year, but it was productive, nonetheless.

Cubs have scored 14 runs in two games against LA … 11 were plated with two outs:
4 runs on Tuesday and all 7 on Wednesday.

Heyward –in the best possible way– is unrecognizable at the plate. Not long ago we cringed when he came up in a big spot. Now, not so much.

April – Heyward:
.340 avg./.485 OBP
5 HR, 11 RBI
14 BB, 8 K

His 3R HR Wednesday off left-hander Scott Alexander was his first against a southpaw since his epic walkoff grand slam against the Phillies Adam Morgan last June.

You can’t read about Javy. You can’t read about him. You’ve got to watch him. You’ve got to watch what he’s doing. You’ve got to watch how he’s thinking on the field.” —Heyward


Has only two multi-hit games all season; however, he’s recorded at least one hit in three straight games: a single, 2 doubles and a HR.

Bryant has two multi-hit outings in his last five games — and only one strikeout.

In his past 18 games, only once has he gone two consecutive games without recording a hit.

Whereas there are signs of a breakthrough at the plate with Rizzo and Bryant, Kyle Schwarber is leaving much to be desired.

April – Schwarber:
16 games
8-for-56 (.143 avg.)
1 HR, 3 RBI
5 BB, 19 K

*The total number of bases i.e. one base for single, two bases for double, etc.
61 – Báez
42 – Contreras
37 – Heyward
33 – Rizzo
30 – Braynt

Is back on the bump Thursday afternoon for the first time since straining his left hammy in the Cubs home opener on April 8.

He’s on a precautionary 75-80 pitch count.

NEXT – Thur. vs. LAD, 1:20 p.m. CT
Ross Stripling (1-1, 3.07)
Jon Lester (1-0, 2.57