CHICAGO- While most Cubs fans were hoping that Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano would finally get the job done, it was Ryan Sweeney who caught everyone’s attention today.
In the Cubs 14-6 victory over the Houston Astros, Sweeney went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, six runs batted in and scored twice. He was the driving force for the North Siders today, who scored more than 10 runs for the first time this season.
It couldn’t have come at a better time as the Cubs offense has been in the gutter for the last few weeks. Their offensive struggles have taken it’s toll on a pitching staff that has given their all only to get no run support in return.
That was not the case today. While Sweeney was the talk of the town, other Cubs pitched in as well. Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and 4 RBI’s as he tries to get better. And Nate Schierholtz hit 3-for-5 with 2 RBI’s.
The Cubs also got an RBI from Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro did score a run despite going 0-for-4 in the batters box. Castro along with Alfonso Soriano are still cold at the plate. During this three game set with the Astros, they went for a combined 6-for-22.
Four of those hits came from Soriano. Castro also committed two fielding errors today which lead to one of Houston’s six runs today. Despite Castro’s hard times continuing, manager Dale Sveum does not plan on benching him.
After the game Ryan Sweeney spoke to the press and when asked about his performance he said “I got into some good hitters counts, and got to the plate with runners on base and moving guys to second and third. I wasn’t so good with runners in scoring position during the first couple of weeks but I have gotten better with the last couple of weeks.”
While the Cubs offense has been down for the most part, their pitching most of the time has been the lone bright spot. Jeff Samardzija took the hill for the Cubs today and pitched seven solid innings while striking out five and not allowing any walks.
When asked about the run support he got today Samardzija said “They were just doing their thing today, it was fun to watch.” Manager Dale Sveum added “Sweeney had a huge day. The key to the game today was breaking the offense open.”
The Cubs will need to continue breaking the offense open if they are to have any success with their upcoming road trip. Today was the final June home game for the 2013 Chicago Cubs.
After an off day tomorrow, the Cubs will set out on a nine game road trip. They travel to division rival Milwaukee, then to both Seattle and Oakland for another go-round with the American League West.
The Cubs will return home on July 5th. Here is the box score from today’s game:
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