WRIGLEY FIELD- #ILLWILL Willson Contreras took it upon himself to end the hot streak of Sox hurler Lucas Giolito as he hit 2 HR's (a GRANNY & a solo) and drove in 5 runs in the Cubs 7-3 win over the White Sox to split the 2 game series at the Friendly Confines. "I was looking for a fastball and he hung a changeup and I was able to hit it out," he said about the grand slam in the bottom of 1.
Contreras is batting .293 with 15 HR & 42 RBI so far this season. He hit his first career HR on the first pitch of his first MLB at bat exactly 3 years ago today. "I was called up 3 years ago June 19th and today is June 19th so to see how far I've come makes me proud. I just wanna keep going out there to do my best." Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks consistency is the key in Contreras' progress at the plate. "It's been good to watch and he's been consistent. You're seeing the residue of that. He's becoming more self aware and he hits the ball hard. When he's in the left center gap that's his optimal swing," Maddon said.
#NewMoney David Bote drove in his 34th run of the year with a solo HR in the bottom of 4 & BamBam Kyle Schwarber got his 35th RBI with a double in the bottom of 8 as a piece of insurance to complete the offensive attack.
Contreras (15) along with #BigFolks Anthony Rizzo (19) #ELMago Javier Baez (17) Schwarber (16) & #TheNatural Kris Bryant (15) are the lone quintet of teammates in the league to reach 15 home runs so far this year.
#TheACE Jon Lester picked up his 6th win of the year going 5.2 innings scattering 7 hits giving up 3 runs while walking 1 and striking out 6 on 114 pitches...73 for strikes. He said he feels like he's headed in the right direction. "I felt better. I'm still getting swings and misses and I'm not walking guys. I feel like I'm doing the right things."
Giolito struck out 9 but struggled with his command early and the Cubs took advantage of him as he fell to 10-2 on the season but is still a likely All-Star for the American League squad.
FINAL- Cubs 7 Sox 3
Summary- White Sox centerfielder Leury Garcia led off the game with a first pitch solo HR to give them a 1-0 lead. The Cubs came right back with a 4 piece spicy in the bottom of 1 as #ILLWILL Willson Contreras sent a Lucas Giolito pitch int the left field basket for a grand slam to put the Cubs up 4-1. They added another in the bottom of 3 on a Contreras solo bomb...his 15th of the season to stretch the lead to 5-1. The Sox got 2 back in the top of 4 as James McCann's solo HR & Yoan Moncada's RBI double cut the deficit to 5-3. The north siders got 1 back in the bottom of 4 on a David Bote aka #NewMONEY solo HR to make it 6-3.
Player(s) of the game- Willson Contreras (2-3 2 HR 5 RBI)
Play of the game- The "GRANNY" by Contreras to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead
Quote of the game- " I don't know what I'm witnessing but the way the ball is coming off the bat is extra terrestrial." - Joe Maddon on juiced baseballs
Next game- vs New York Mets
Tyler Chatwood (3-1 3.60 ERA) v TBD
Anthony Rizzo has 19 HRs this season. Last year he hit his 19th homer on August 24th in the teams 124th game. He's on pace for 43 home runs & 115 RBI which would eclipse his current career highs of 32 HRs & 109 RBI.
Cubs pitcher Tim Collins was designated for assignment and the highly touted pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay was called up from Iowa and will be ready for tonight's game against the Mets as NY invades the north side for games 4-7 of the 10 game home stand.