Last night the Chicago Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in a slugfest that ended in a score of 16-9. The pitching on both sides was sub-par at best but there are number of positive takeaways for the Cubs’ offense.
2) The emergence of Justin Ruggiano and Darwin Barney. We have been saying for weeks that the Cubs are going to need offensive production from others in the lineup besides Castro and Rizzo and it looks like Ruggiano and Barney are stepping up. Both had phenomenal games last night as Ruggiano went 3-6 with a home run and five RBI, while Barney had four hit in five at bats. And in their last ten they are hitting .281 and .273 respectively.
3) Mike Olt may be useful after all. Mike Olt has been the most frustrating Cub of all-time this season. He leads all National League rookies in home runs with 11 but has just 25 hits on the season and has struck out a whopping 72 times in 167 at bats. But last night could be a turning point for the Cubs’ third baseman as he went 2-5 with a double and a home run. A great way to snap a home run hitter out of a slump is to go yard in a multi-hit game. It’s a huge confidence booster and can really help a guy turn it around.
Yesterday we discussed how getting the sweep could be big for the Cubs in their efforts to move out of last place as well as boost trade values before the deadline and last night was exactly what they needed. Nothing gets a team’s confidence up like putting up a boatload of runs. Look for the Cubs to be very competitive over the next four weeks.
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