Wisdom (2 HRs), Bellinger (5 hits) lead 20-hit attack

Wisdom (2 HRs), Bellinger (5 hits) lead 20-hit attack

6:56 AM UTC

OAKLAND — For the second day in a row, Patrick Wisdom and Cody Bellinger packed a potent one-two punch midway through the Cubs’ order.

After going deep in back-to-back at-bats to help secure a series win in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, Wisdom’s two home runs and Bellinger’s five-hit game kept the momentum going and powered Chicago to a series-opening 10-1 win over the A’s on Monday night.

Returning to the Coliseum for the first time since 2016, the Cubs’ bats were out in full force as they notched 20 hits to thump the A’s after Oakland staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. All but one of Chicago’s starters had at least one hit, and seven batters got multiple knocks.

“Not everyone’s even getting going yet,” manager David Ross said. “The sign of a good team — the guys are picking each other up and passing the baton. Everybody feels confident, guys are running the bases really well.”

After A’s lefty Kyle Muller had retired five straight to open the game, Wisdom shifted the tone with his first home run of the day, a two-out shot to deep left field that tied the game at 1 in the second inning. That extended his streak of four straight games with a homer, which matches his career high set from May 20-23, 2022.

Wisdom broke the game open when he went deep for a second time in the eighth, driving in three runs to effectively put the game out of reach. In doing so, Wisdom became one of just seven Cubs batters with at least five home runs in a four-game span since 2000, and he’s done it twice — also mashing five dingers in four games from Aug. 25-28, 2021.

Having trust in both himself and his approach at the plate has done wonders for Wisdom during his power surge, but he acknowledged that his mentality isn’t the only factor at play.

“You can still feel locked in, but hits aren’t going your way and things aren’t dropping,” Wisdom said. “But you can kind of feel terrible, too, and get knocks.”

With his pair of round-trippers, Wisdom grabbed a share of the MLB home run lead — the Mets’ Pete Alonso also has eight long balls — and became the fourth Cub in the Modern Era (since 1901) to hit eight homers in the first 15 games of the season, joining Gabby Hartnett (1925), Hank Sauer (’54) and Lee Walls (’58).

“It’s been unbelievable,” Bellinger said. “I’ve had some pretty cool views right behind him. Some moonshots, man. He’s just strong and he’s locked in, and it’s really fun to watch.”

Oakland’s pitching staff had no answer for Bellinger, who recorded the first five-hit game of his career. He continued to show glimpses of his 2019 MVP form as he collected a hit in each of his plate appearances, notching a double and four singles to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

After going 1-for-15 in his first four games in a Cubs uniform, Bellinger has settled into a groove, batting .395 (17-for-43) with three doubles and two home runs in his past 11 games.

“I just felt pretty good today,” Bellinger said. “Leading up to today before the game, I think those days it’s [been] a little more — not relaxing, but you just know you feel good. You just want to continue to lock it in because it’s still hard to get hits in the big leagues, even if you feel really good.”

While the offense was tearing it up, right-hander Hayden Wesneski held his own on the mound. On the rebound from the shortest start of his career (1 1/3 innings on Tuesday against Seattle), the 25-year-old righty turned the page with seven innings of one-run ball, matching his longest outing in the big leagues. 

Wesneski allowed four hits in the first two innings but then settled down to retire 15 straight A’s batters, going scoreless the rest of the way en route to his first win of the season.

“This is definitely a start you can build on,” Wesneski said. “You see the results, but it’s just one of those things where the other four days, you have to figure out what you want to work on and what works for you.”

That appears to be the mindset the Cubs have adopted as a team. After going 1-3 to begin the season, Chicago has now won eight of its last 11 games.

“We’re rolling,” Bellinger said. “Up and down through our lineup, there’s not a weak spot. … I think we saw it in Spring Training, and now that we’re all coming together every day … we’re having a good time.”

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *