Patrick Wisdom has had some incredible home runs in his breakout rookie season. But there may not be one as impressive as the one he launched in Game 1 of the doubleheader split Wednesday against the Rockies.
The Cubs were looking for a big swing from their third baseman in the 5-2 victory, and he provided one in the fifth inning. With the game tied 2-2, the offense went on the attack. First baseman Frank Schwindel hit a two-out triple into the left-field corner and Matt Duffy followed with a walk, bringing Wisdom to the plate.
“I knew his name coming through the minor league system,” said Zach Davies, who threw 4‰ innings in Game 1. “Especially being in the same division, knowing what type of player he is, and finally getting an extended opportunity to prove that he’s a big-league player. . . . That guy in the lineup at any moment can change the game.”
Wisdom hadn’t had the best afternoon up to that point against Rockies starter Austin Gomber with a pair of strikeouts on sliders in his first two at-bats. Gomber had a similar approach in the third at-bat and with a 1-1 count he challenged Wisdom with another slider. But this time, Wisdom didn’t miss it.
The Cubs’ third baseman crushed a hanging slider onto Waveland Avenue and nearly hit the building across the street. The 438-foot blast not only would give the Cubs a 5-2 lead, but it also proved to be the game-winner.
“I think the power is real. We’ve talked about that a lot,” manager David Ross said. “Twenty-one homers now and has been holding down the middle of my order for a while with really big hits. . . . He’s doing a lot of good things in a lot of different moments.”
The three-run shot added to Wisdom’s National League rookie lead in homers with 21. While it will be tough to catch Reds second baseman Jonathan India, he certainly has given himself a chance to finish in the top five of NL rookie of the year voting.
Ross doesn’t have a vote for the award, but he isn’t hiding who he’d cast his ballot for if he did.
“I really had a vote, I’d vote for my guy,” Ross said with a smile. “If it was yours, I would probably be unbiased, but if it was actually mine, I would imagine I’d vote for Wisdom.”
Alzolay: 2 IP in rehab start
Right-hander Adbert Alzolay threw two innings in his rehab start at Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday. Alzolay allowed four earned runs on three hits in the outing, including a solo home run. He struck out three and walked one.
The right-hander has been on the 10-day injured list since Aug. 18 with a strained left hamstring.