Cubs continue to bestow Wisdom on NL West
Back in March, how many people predicted the Cubs would start the season off 5-0 against the top two contenders in the National League (Dodgers, Padres)?
In April, even fewer would’ve gone out on that limb, when the Cubs concluded the opening month with an 11-15 record.
Yet that’s exactly what has transpired after Tuesday night’s gritty 4-3 win over the Padres. The victory clinched a series win against the NL’s best team and improved the Cubs’ season record to 31-23.
The Cubs have now won 6 straight series and are 8-1 in their last 9 games.
What’s even more impressive is how the Cubs have arrived at this point — on the back of replacement players in the midst of a tough run of injuries.
Patrick Wisdom is one such fill-in and he’s had a monster series against the Padres. After 2 home runs Monday, the 29-year-old third baseman helped his team get out to a hot start Tuesday night with a nice barehanded play on defense and then a 2-run blast in the 2nd inning.
He’s on such a hot streak that brief “MVP! MVP!” chants echoed throughout Wrigley Field every time he stepped into the box Tuesday night.
Wisdom also singled in the game and is now hitting .474 with a 1.658 OPS in his first week-plus with the Cubs.
“I’ve been really impressed,” David Ross said. “He’s in every at-bat. He doesn’t look overmatched. He’s taking some close pitches, grinding, getting to 3-2 even when they’re getting ahead, staying in his zone and what he does well. When he hits the ball, he’s a strong young man. That bull jumps off his bat and it’s electric when it comes off his bat. It’s been really impressive.
“I’ve also been impressed with his defense — clean over there, that slow roller today was a really nice play on a tough play, hit [Anthony Rizzo] right in the chest. It’s been very comforting and watching his at-bats have been nice to see.”
Fellow injury replacement Sergio Alcántara added 2 hits while getting the start at second base.
“Everybody that comes up has been contributing,” Kyle Hendricks said. “Alcántara put great swings on pitches, made some great defensive plays for me, too. Everybody’s that’s coming up is just playing so well. It makes it so much fun to watch, Everybody is a part of it. It’s a new guy contributing every day. Everybody’s feeding off the energy right now. We’re just enjoying the moment.”
Hendricks gave up a pair of homers — including to his former catcher, Victor Caratini — but kept his team in the ballgame. His current backstop (Willson Contreras) delivered a go-ahead 2-run shot in the bottom of the 5th inning and the Cubs never looked back.
Hendricks has earned a win in 4 straight starts for the first time since 2016, per Cubs notes. He also rattled off a personal 4-game win streak from Aug. 24 to Sept. 12 of that season.
Rizzo returned to the lineup for the first time in a week and had a pair of hits.