Cubs do all the little things right for fifth straight win
We've reached the Fourth of July, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon had another holiday in mind after Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field.
"Definitely, everything's believable, we believe in everything right now," said Maddon, whose team has won five in a row to move to 48-35. "Santa Claus is absolutely true. When you get to that point and you get that kind of confidence rolling, you don't want to do anything to nick it."
Or Saint Nick it.
But seriously, the Cubs are getting it done on offense without a lot of help from the home run. They're also falling behind and coming back to win. They swept the Minnesota Twins over the weekend after falling behind in all three games. They also came from behind to beat the Dodgers in the series finale at Los Angeles after trailing.
For the season, the Cubs ended their day leading the major leagues with 25 come-from-behind victories, and they tied their high-water mark at 13 games over .500.
But Santa Claus?
"I don't know anything about Santa Claus," said right fielder Jason Heyward, not meaning to be Scrooge. "We do a good job of being the same. On the field, our defense, if we're down by a lot, the game's still going on, we're still giving each other (stuff), having fun, competing. Same thing on offense. Some days are easier than others to get going and to be, I guess, chatty. But for the most part, we're the same."
The main beneficiary of the new-look Cubs offense was starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, who is still looking for his groove. He gave up a pair of runs in the first and another in the fourth before his mates tied the game with 3 runs in the fifth.
That inning began with doubles from pinch hitter Tommy La Stella, Albert Almora Jr. and Heyward to make it 3-2. Anthony Rizzo tied it with a single. He put the Cubs ahead with an RBI forceout in the seventh, and Kyle Schwarber added insurance with his team-leading 17th homer in the eighth.
"It was an unbelievable job today," said Hendricks, whose ERA went from 4.21 to 4.27. "No. 1, the bullpen getting those outs and our lineup just battling, never giving in. The at-bats we're putting together, through all nine (spots), it's just so fun watching those guys and their approach right now. You just know it's just a matter of time in any ballgame for us right now."
Hendricks said he feels that way about himself. He has not had a quality start since June 16 as he continues to wrestle with mechanical issues.
"The way we've been swinging it, just try to minimize it (the damage) as much as I can," he said. "Letting leadoff guys get on, getting behind guys and just missing spots. That's a bad recipe for me right now. I've just got to stick with it, keep battling and find something.
"It's obviously frustrating, but I've got to stick with what I'm doing and my cues and hopefully it will click."
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