Cubs Storm Back to Bash Brewers, Hendricks Strengthens Cy Young Case

The Chicago Cubs (89-48) started the day slowly. They found themselves down 1-0 and didn’t manage to get a runner to second base until the sixth inning. After Tommy La Stella walked and advanced to second on an Anthony Rizzo ground out, Jorge Soler singled to drive in the Cubs’ first run and tie the game at one run apiece.

DSC_0249The Cubs followed with two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead for good.

A two-out double by Miguel Montero, followed by a Chris Coghlan single gave the Cubs their first lead of the game. Coghlan, who advanced to second base on the throw home after his single, was driven in by a Tommy La Stella single and subsequent error by the Brewers’ second baseman, Scooter Gennett.

The Cubs weren’t done there. They came out in the top of the eighth inning, after knocking Brewers’ starting pitcher Zach Davies from the game in the seventh, to score four more runs. It started when Jason Heyward slapped the ball up the middle of the infield and over the glove of Brewers’ shortstop, Orlando Arcia, to score Matt Szczur. The play was ruled an error.

Javier Baez and Chris Coghlan would each single, with Baez driving in one run on a safety squeeze bunt single and Coghlan driving in two runs on a bases loaded single to right field.

The Cubs go on to  win by the score of 7-2 (Box Score).

Kyle Hendricks (14-7, 2.07 ERA) was as good today as he’s been all season, and that’s saying a lot. He surrendered only one run and five hits over six innings pitched. With this outing, he managed to lower his already league-leading ERA to a paltry 2.07 and he did it primarily through the use of his wicked sinker-changeup one-two punch. He threw the sinker 42.3% of the time and the changeup made up 26.8% of his pitches (Brooks Baseball).

Stats that matter

  • Kyle Hendricks continues to build his case for Cy Young Award consideration – 6.0IP, 1R, 5H, 2BB, 6Ks, HR, 97 pitches
  • Chris Coghlan stepped up big for the boys in blue today – 2-for-2, 1R, 3RBI
  • Miguel Montero has been playing well lately – 2-for-3, 1R, 2B
  • Javier Baez showed his warrior spirit with a great hustle bunt single – 2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI

Bottom line

The Cubs came out a little flat today but managed to get things going late, due in large part to the excellent play by their role players. Tommy La Stella, Miguel Montero, Javier Baez and Chris Coghlan combined to score three runs with four RBI. It’s great to see those guys step up, particularly La Stella, Montero and Coghlan.

The Cubs started the day with a magic number of 11 games. That number now stands at 10. We’ll update the magic number tally tomorrow morning after the Cardinals finish their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates later today.

Next up

The Cubs play the Brewers on Tuesday at 7:10 PM CT. Jason Hammel (14-7, 3.14 ERA) will take the hill for the Cubs.

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