CSN Chicago is already dubbing last night’s contest on ESPN “The Ian Happ Game”, no doubt because he homered in two of his first three at bats producing 4 RBIs that would be more than the margin of victory in a 7-6 game giving the Cubs a sweep of their midwest rivals.
And what a showcase for Ian to display his talents in the leadoff spot for the Cubs, on a national stage.
Reticent to bask in the spotlight, Ian was nudged to the top of the dugout stairs by teammates who sensed how electrified the Wrigley fans were by his second blast with two runners on base in the 4th inning. He acknowledged that the curtain call was an awesome moment.
As manager Joe Maddon observed after the game, “I means this guy, they struck him out a couple of times, but he’s really dangerous when that bat comes through. He’s going to continue to do a better job of knowing what not to swing at.” What is Joe referring to? As I’ve pointed out before, as good as Ian’s judgment of the strike zone is, he has one Achilles Heel which is the off-speed pitch that drops below the strike zone as it crosses the plate – which he invariably gets on a two strike count and seems to have difficulty not swinging at (when you’re talking baseball, you can end a sentence with a preposition).