Something something Michael Barrett punching A.J. Pierzynski something something.
The Cubs and White Sox kicked off this year’s Crosstown Cup, and for the Cubs, it couldn’t have started much better, posting five runs in the first inning, capped by Willson Contreras’s grand slam. Not only did he add a beautiful pickoff at second base, but he also homered again, doubled twice, and drove in SEVEN RUNS. All on his bobblehead day. Incredible.
It overshadowed other enormous days at the plate, including Kris Bryant reaching base five times, and each of Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist reaching base three times.
On the pitching side, it was the full Tyler Chatwood Walksperience on display, as he was extremely nasty and also extremely wild, with six strikeouts and five walks through five innings. He gave up only a couple runs, but when you’re staked to a 5-0 lead out of the gate, going only five innings in a blowout is not good. You gotta help save the bullpen in a game like that, and Chatwood just couldn’t throw strikes.
Thankfully Justin Hancock was available to eat up a couple innings at the end, so the bullpen didn’t get too taxed in a blowout. But keep in mind, this is the first day of a stretch where the Cubs will play 11 games in 10 days. Every little bit matters.
Still, it’s a good day overall, and the Cubs once again took advantage of a softer opponent. The good teams do that.