Wisdom homers twice more, Cubs snap skid vs. Giants
The Cubs thought they had several players capable of getting on a hot streak and carrying the team.
No one expected one of those players to be Patrick Wisdom, who was playing in Triple A two weeks ago.
But Wisdom came through with 2 home runs and 3 RBI on Sunday, leading the Cubs to a much-needed 4-3 victory over San Francisco, snapping a three-game losing streak.
"He's been carrying us," manager David Ross said. "Seems like every time he gets in the box, you feel like he's going to do something really good, real damage."
Sunday was Wisdom's eighth start with the Cubs and he has 7 home runs. According to ESPN, that's been done twice before in MLB history, by Cincinnati's Aristides Aquino and Colorado's Trevor Story.
"That's incredible," teammate Ian Happ said. "He hits a homer every time. I was on base for that second one and as soon as he hit, it's like, 'Welp, there's another one.' He's got 7 pumps already and he hasn't been here that long. I think some of us were looking at the board going, 'Shoot, we don't have that many.'"
The Cubs fell behind 2-0 in this game, but Wisdom got one of those back in his first at-bat in the second. Two innings later, he tied the score at 3-3. Both of the home runs were to straight away center field.
Wisdom once hit 31 home runs in a Triple A season, so he's used to hitting for power. But few players have done it quite like this.
"I wouldn't say the ball (looks) any bigger," Wisdom said. "That would be really nice, but I think it's just slowing down. Those homers, I think they come when I'm not trying to do too much. And then I get a little amped up in the next at-bats and I kind of swing out of the zone and get away from my plan.
"I think when the homers come, it's being relaxed and looking for the pitch I can drive and looking for something in the zone."
Starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks had a rough start, but settled in and lasted until the seventh inning and got the win. The Cubs scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning when Hendricks led off with a double and eventually scored when with the bases loaded. Javy Baez hit a grounder to shortstop and Giants catcher Buster Posey couldn't hang onto the low throw from Mauricio Dubon.
The Cubs needed every play they could make in this one. Ian Happ threw out Posey at the plate in the second inning, Ryan Tepera worked out of a jam in the seventh and Dubon nearly tied it in the ninth, taking Craig Kimbrel's first pitch deep to left before Kris Bryant made a leaping catch at the wall.
Wisdom has mentioned several times since arriving in Chicago about how the Cubs players have made him feel welcome and allowed him to be himself. Happ talked about that policy after Sunday's game.
"I think that's been something that was established early here, before I was up, with (Jon) Lester and (John) Lackey, obviously (Anthony) Rizzo, and that welcoming environment as guys came up," Happ said. "All those guys came up (in 2015 and '16) and were accepted early. I think it's something that has continued from that crop of guys and it's become a real pillar of this organization.
"Guys are going to help us throughout the season and the best way we can make sure that they're productive is to make them feel as welcome and as part of this group as possible. I think Wisdom and (Crystal Lake native Nick) Martini together, those guys were a hilarious, electric combination. To be able to let them thrive in exactly what they do and have that freedom to go out and play loose and easy is what's going to get the best out of those guys. So I'm happy that's how he feels and that's maybe a contributing factor to why he's just crushing homers every at-bat."
Baez left Sunday's game early after hurting his hand or wrist on a swing, while Joc Pederson didn't play after hurting his back in Saturday's contest.
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