What a difference between games. The other night, Kyle Hendricks had a game he’d like to forget and then yesterday, the Cubs demolished the Dodgers 11-5. Chalk it up to Albert Almora‘s home run that really opened everything up for the Cubs.
“We were using the whole field,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re talking about power and ‘oppo’ and ground balls up the middle. It was a really great approach. Albert pretty much provided the knockout punch with the homer.”
When things go well for the North Siders, they go really well. So why is it that the Cubs manage to stay in the race despite their uneven play? It seems like one game they’re up and one they’re down. They lose five and then bounce back with a huge win yesterday. I’ve said all along that the key to the Cubs success lies entirely on Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant‘s shoulders.
“It’s that part of the season when things aren’t going your way and you get frustrated a little more,” Rizzo said. “A day like today is nice to be able to come in, and I put in some work in the cage. I just want to stay consistent. My biggest thing is consistency, which is what I’ve shown over the last few years so I want to get back to having consistent at-bats every time.”
The other concern I have is Kyle Hendricks. He’s not playing well and in Wednesday’s game he wasn’t entirely horrible, but something is off with him.
“I’m just searching right now,” Hendricks said. “It’s just bad. Mechanics, I’m trying to focus mentally and going pitch to pitch, and I’m doing that, but something’s just off.”
The odd thing is that even though his game isn’t his usually stoic excellence, his numbers aren’t that terrible(excluding Wednesday’s game) If anyone can turn things around, it’s him.
With the All Star Break coming up soon enough, the Cubs have an opportunity to put things together and reflect on the first half of the season. The Good, The Bad and well you get the idea.