Six in a row! A second straight sweep! Joy! Bells ringing! Birds singing!
Maybe that doesn’t seem like an overwhelming winning streak, but it’s the longest of the year for a Chicago Cubs team that has been mired in mediocrity for most of the season, even as they defend their 2016 title. Then the All-Star break happened, the front office traded for Jose Quintana, and the team came out of the break looking unstoppable. Sure, it helps that they were playing the Orioles and the Braves, but to win six straight on the road against any big league teams is impressive.
Today’s installment featured Mike Montgomery pitching a gem in his possible rotation swan song, and adding a dinger for good measure. The Cubs also got homers from Javy Baez and Tommy La Stella, and Addison Russell had a huge day at the plate. Baez and Russell have really looked great lately, which would obviously be huge for the offense in the second half.
Of course, there was at least a mild dark shadow over the game from thing one, as Kris Bryant had to leave the game with a hand injury. So far, the news is good on that front, but we’ll see what’s what on Friday.
Hector Rondon finished things out in the 9th by striking out the side, and I’m telling you, he’s not just getting ridiculous results lately, he looks really good. The fastball is overpowering, the slider is sharp and well-located. Something must have changed or clicked for him about a month ago, and I hope this guy sticks around for the rest of the season.