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Explosive offense early propels Cubs to win over Braves

10 months agoElena Shklyar

The Cubs knew that in order to beat the red-hot Braves, some real offensive production was required. 

And they wasted no time doing just that.

The Cubs bats got hot early on Saturday afternoon, propelling them to take a 5-0 lead in the 1st inning due to a Cody Bellinger RBI single and two home runs from Dansby Swanson and Jeimer Candelario.

Despite the Braves late offensive push to try to close the gap, the Cubs were able to hold off to win 8-6 and tie the series.

“I thought early we put together a lot of good team at-bats,” said Swanson. “Obviously (Mike) Tauchman has been awesome for us at the top of the lineup and has been able to set some presence early and get on base. Then we have Nico (Hoerner) following that up and just trying to make things happen.”

“Any time you can get out to a lead, especially against a group like them, is going to hopefully work in our favor and tonight it did.”

Swanson’s 408-foot blast accounted for his 17th of the year and first against his former team, which the crowd at Wrigley Field adequately acknowledged by erupting into thunderous cheering as he rounded the bases to home.

Jeimer Candelario followed Swanson’s lead and hit his first homer in a Cubs uniform since being traded to Chicago less than a week ago.

Following Friday’s 8-0 shutout loss to the Braves, Cubs Manager David Ross decided to quickly move on and maintain confidence in his offense. 

“We’ve been swinging the bat really well,” said Ross. “You turn the page. We got beat yesterday and came out today with a fresh mentality.”

“I think that’s the sign of a good team. These guys know we are good. Okay we got beat, they beat us and we are back at it today.”

Swanson credits part of the recent offensive success to the consistency of the lineup. 

“Consistency is stability,” said Swanson. “I feel like over the last 6 weeks or so we have really found our groove. I’ve always said that if you want to win you have to put the best players out there as often as possible and we’ve been doing that and we are starting to see some dividends from it.”

“Consistency creates clarity and clarity creates the ability to be able to go perform. At the end of the day the message is clear. It’s like – ‘We trust you to do your job and we are putting you in there to be who you are, just do what you are good at and it’s going to lead to good results and it has so far for us.”

For Ian Happ, the steady lineup has allowed him to find his groove offensively and trust his teammates around him.

“Guys have had good at-bats all year,” said Happ. “I think that we’re in a spot where it is pretty consistent top to bottom right now with how the lineup is being constructed against righties and lefties, so guys are pretty comfortable in their order.”

“For me, in the 3-hole and having (Cody) Bellinger and Dansby (Swanson) behind me, if I get on base, those guys are going to do the job and drive me in. Just things like that help you get a little more comfortable seeing the same guys in front of you and behind you.”

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