By Joseph Phillips
Thanks to two home runs by catcher Wilson Contreras and a clutch grand slam by first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the third inning, the Chicago Cubs dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-8, on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
With the wind blowing out at Wrigley in the first inning, the Cubs offense erased a five run deficit in a hurry by scoring five runs in the bottom of the first, five runs in the bottom of the third, and seven runs in the bottom of the fifth, this included smashing five homeruns within the process.
“Weirdly, I was expecting that response,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, about his team’s overall performance. “I really thought that under the circumstances the energy level was great, then to answer as quickly as we did. I want to believe that’s going to continue.”
Madden was impressed with his team’s offensive explosion. As it was the perfect anecdote for his team’s 3-5 road trip against division rivals Milwaukee Brewers and the newly revamped San Diego Padres.
With a line-up that is free swinging, the five homeruns were attributed to Cubs left fielder Nicholas Castellanos (who hit a two-run shot in the first inning. Earning his career best 26th homerun of the season), rookie shortstop Nico Hoerner (hitting a two-run shot for his first homer of the season and his first homerun of his major league career in the first inning. This also includes Hoerner’s second 4 RBI game of the season) first baseman Anthony Rizzo (a!so hitting his 26th homer of the year, on a meteor shot grand slam into the right field bleachers), and catcher Wilson Contreras (finishing with two towering shots for homeruns number 22 and 23 of the season).
In addition to the team’s power surge, pitcher Jon Lester earned his 13th win of the season and said he was very happy with the team’s outcome and overall performance. Lester managed to overcome his struggles early on after giving up four runs on 116 pitches. Lester’s highlight of the day was drawing a key bases loaded walk in the bottom of the third inning leading to Rizzo’s second grand slam of the season. And a team record 10th on the year.
Final Score: Cubs 17, Pirates 8.
As the Cubs’ offense made music during the game, the HBCU’s Hampton University and Howard University Marching Band’s made music prior to the game. As the group marched down Clark street through a large crowd anxiously awaiting them at Gallagher Way on the Wrigley Field campus. The group would perform for the crowd in preparation of the 2019: 22nd Annual Chicago Football Classic held at Soldiers Field on Saturday, September 14 at 3:30 p.m.