Cubs establishing new offensive identity, beat Rockies to split series

DENVER – Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel described the Cubs’ offensive dynamic as “fun to be a part of.” Outfielder Ian Happ characterized the team’s plate discipline and sheer number of hits as “pretty impressive.”

In a 6-4 win against the Rockies on Sunday, the Cubs’ offense racked up 13 base knocks. It was the fourth straight game that the Cubs have recorded double-digit hits and the fifth time this season. Though it’s too early in the year to put too much stake in the Cubs’ statistics, the way the team has been generating runs has started to establish a new offensive identity for the Cubs.

“I want us to be an offensive club,” said hitting coach Greg Brown, who the Cubs hired over the offseason. “And so when teams come in to play us, there’s an expectation that we play good offense. We have different ways of scoring runs. We’re going to have to find runs up and down the lineup and through our bench.

“And so we need to be able to be a little bit more dynamic and be able to score. So I think that that’s our goal, is to not be siloed into like, the three-run homer. I think that we need to be able to do multiple things.”

Brown laid out those expectations in the spring. And the team lived up to them on Sunday.

Catcher Willson Contreras delivered the first run, with a solo home in the first inning. Outfielder Seiya Suzuki recorded his fourth home run of the season in the seventh inning. In between, the Cubs added on one or two runs at a time with strings of base hits interspersed with walks.

Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who has been on a hot streak the past few games, started a two-run rally at the bottom of the batting order in the second inning. He doubled, Michael Hermosillo drew a walk, and Nico Hoerner drove them both in with a double.

The next inning, the top of the order delivered, with two-hole hitter Nick Madrigal doubling and Frank Schwindel scoring him with a single.

Coors Field is notoriously a hitter’s park, providing a unique combination of elevation and a spacious outfield. So, that certainly helps. But the ballpark only accounts for so much.

“They have a really good staff,” Ross said of the Rockies’ pitching. “I don’t want to dismiss the good at-bats, consistency. Look up and down the lineup. Guys are getting their pitches. … We’re willing to turn it over to the next guy, but we’re ready to hit our pitch from jump street, we’re not passive, we’re aggressive in the zone, and that can scare some teams out of the zone. And we can string together a bunch of hits in a row, and we’re never out of a ballgame.”

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