April 12, Chicago, Ill. — This is the Chicago Cubs baseball fans are used to seeing. In an afternoon matinee, the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Angels 5–1, in front of 30,102 fans. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels and catcher Willson Contreras both had a big day, but in very different ways — all for the good of the team of course! All of this coming off a series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates that wrapped up on Thursday, April 11.
Did someone say home runs?
Today was a great day for Cubs’ hitters with four of the five runs coming from home runs. Anthony Rizzo wasted no time and sent a pitch 472 ft. in the opposite direction in the first inning, putting 2 runs on the board. But it didn’t end there!. Contreras stepped up after Javier Baez struck out and sent a solo HR over the bleachers onto Waveland (Oh, Hey Waveland!). David Bote added on with his own solo homer in the fourth and Contreras sent another solo home run onto Waveland in the sixth — the final run of the game.
Contreras’ extra time spent refining his swing and approach in Spring training really payed off in the Cubs win against the Angeles. According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Contreras “explained that it was all about rhythm in the batter’s box and his strong preseason results supported the idea that Contreras indeed identified a fix and put it into action.”
When it was all said and done, Contreras went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, Bote went 1-for-4 and Rizzo went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI.
Hamels takes control
Hamels answered prayers today and gave Cubs’ fans something they haven’t seen much of from this year’s starting rotation — a solid 8 innings, no walks, an earned run and 6 strike outs.
Hamels was confident and seemed to be enjoying himself on the mound today, and he was even spotted with a smile plastered across his face on several occassions.
The one and only run he gave up came in the fourth when Angels’ first baseman Albert Pujols caught Hamels trying to sneak one down and inside. Instead, Pujols connected and sent the pitch sailing the other way. Still, Hamels remained calm and focused and would see the day through, finishing his outing after the last out of the eighth inning. Hamels is now 2–0 on the season with a 3.79 ERA.
The Cubs have now won three of their last four games and are 5–8 after starting the season 1–6.
The Angels remain in town for the weekend. On Saturday , April 13, Kyle Hendricks (0–2, 6.48 ERA) will face right-hander Chris Stratton. Stratton is 0–1 with a 6.48 ERA on the season . First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m./1:20 p.m. CT.
On Sunday, April 14, Tyler Chatwood (0–0, 6.00 ERA) will face off with right-hander Trevor Cahill. Cahill is 1–1 on the season with a 3.50 ERA so far this season. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. ET/1:20 p.m. CT.
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Jennifer Brugh is a freelance writer, content creator and social media specialist with a Masters in sports journalism. Born and raised in northern Indiana, Jennifer enjoys following the Chicago Cubs through all the ups and downs. She low-key wants to live in a van and travel South America. You can follow her on Twitter here.