Both pitches that Willson Contreras hit on Saturday hugged the edge of the strike zone. Both he sent over the Wrigley Field fence.
In the Cubs’ 13-4 win against the Braves on Saturday, Contreras extended his home run streak to three games. That was a first for his career. And then, he made it a two home-run day.
“I was proud of the way that he came into spring training, had a lot of success, then didn’t get off to the start he wanted and really didn't get frustrated,” Cubs manager David Ross said after the game. He continued to have the at-bats.”
Contreras’ on-base percentage has benefitted from a lot of walks and hit-by-pitches this season. He only had one hit in his first six games (.071 batting average), but he had a .333 OBP.
He started a hitting streak at Pittsburgh last week, which extended past the following Brewers series and his vengeful home run in Milwaukee. After getting hit by Brewers pitchers in the helmet, shoulder and hand this year (not to mention four other HBPs last season), Contreras hit a game-winning home run on Tuesday.
He got the day off in the series finale Wednesday and then hit another bomb in the Cubs’ 5-2 loss to the Braves on Friday.
With two more home runs Saturday, Contreras has hit four home runs in his last three starts and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
He started the Cubs’ offensive push Saturday, by far their best performance at the plate this season.
“Once we get that first run and we start off, it gives us the confidence to keep our plan,” said Javy Báez, who hit a three-run homer Saturday.
In Contreras’ first at-bat, he got the barrel of his bat to a slider on the outside edge of the strike zone, launching an opposite-field homer to right. The ball landed above the Benjamin Moor sign stretched across the first six rows in the right field bleachers.
In Contreras’ next at-bat, on an 2-0 count, he drove a fastball at the bottom of the into the hedges beyond the center field wall.