1

Cubs use long ball to beat another ace in Aaron Nola

They didn’t listen to their manager. They might not in October, either. But if Chicago Cubs hitters want to take matters into their own hands and simply bring the thunder against playoff-caliber pitching, surely Joe Maddon won’t mind.

Before the Cubs’ series-clinching, 8-1 win against Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Maddon was opining about how to win a game against an elite arm like the Phillies’ right-hander.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“I still want to see us get back to opposite-field hitting,” Maddon said. “Scoring runs with singles. … That’s what we have to show more of to beat the better pitching. To go out there and just beat them up with the three-run homer, that doesn’t normally occur.”

Except it did Sunday against Nola.

But instead of one three-run homer, the Cubs hit three solo shots off the Cy Young contender. The first one came from Daniel Murphy in the third inning, after Nola had struck out seven in a row, mostly with a devastating curveball. He never did recover from the gut punch delivered by Murphy, the Cubs’ latest game-changer on offense.1

“I was probably as surprised as anyone to get Aaron right there, as well as he’s been throwing it this year,” Murphy said after the game.

Nola looked human after the blast to right, which came on a 1-2 pitch after several foul balls. Soon after, Anthony Rizzo hit his 23rd home run of the season, and he was followed by MVP candidate Javy Baez hitting his 30th of the year while notching RBI No. 100 at the same time. That made it 3-0, and the Cubs never looked back.

They added three triples in the game, compiling three home runs and three triples in the same game for just the second time since 1900, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

So about that scoring with singles Maddon was talking about? It never materialized, not that anyone is complaining.

“We’re just grinding out at-bats,” Murphy said.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

If Baez was the offense’s engine in the first half of the season, Murphy has been leader at the plate in the second half. In fact, before Murphy arrived, the Cubs were stuck in neutral on offense, languishing near the bottom of the NL in many post-All-Star-break categories. Murphy has been a difference-maker at exactly the time the Cubs needed him.

“Daniel coming here is the separator,” Maddon said. “For a while there, we weren’t really playing a wonderful offensive brand of baseball.”