This was the mood at Wrigley Field *before* the Cubs went on to score 7(!) more runs:
You could say that the mood has improved at Wrigley Field since Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/34HQEqKEXH
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 22, 2021
So, yeah, it was a very good night.
But it certainly didn’t start that way. The opposing starter, David Peterson, faced the minimum through the first three innings. And while the Mets offense managed only two runs by that point, Zach Davies was giving up a TON of hard contact (he allowed *seven* balls in play over 104 MPH … in 3.0 IP). We’ll have to set that aside and talk about it tomorrow.
But then the fourth inning happened – that sweet, sweet fourth inning – and everything changed.
After Ian Happ struck out to kick things off, the Cubs plated seven runs on six singles, a walk, and a couple (a dozen?) of errors. Six singles. Some of them were struck well. Some were just flukey. And some were helped by the Mets concrete hands, but if there’s ever been a night that encourages the Cubs to just put the ball in play this was it. And let me just give a special shoutout to Willson Contreras and Javy Baez, both of whom hustled like crazy in this inning to beat out plays at first, reach base on an error, and score that extra run on a shallow bloop. That’s the type of intensity and extra effort that can make a small difference on the margins now and a big difference over the course of a full season.
Later on, Contreras’ hustle turned a should-be out into a really weird double, which was, at the time, the Cubs only extra base hit of the entire series. Of course, that didn’t last long, because Javy Baez put the game out of reach with an absolutely mammoth Grand Slam. There were many more hits and runs after that (including several off a position player pitching in the 8th).
Ah. There was just so much goodness in this one to even recall it all (including a well-deserved standing ovation for World Series champion Albert Almora Jr. and Javy Baez batting from the left-side of the plate). We’ll have some fun with the offensive numbers tomorrow.
Cubs win the game. Cubs win the series (only their second series win of the year). Cubs have a chance for the sweep tomorrow. Goodnight!