Through seven innings Kyle Hendricks (11-7, 2.17 ERA) allowed only two baserunners for the Chicago Cubs (69-41) and he was in control throughout. The Oakland Athletics (48-63) never stood a chance against Hendricks even though they did manage to knock him out of the game in the eighth inning after a one-out solo home run. It was Kyle’s one slip-up in an otherwise stellar performance.
The Cubs got their first two runs of the day on long balls. First, it was Kris Bryant stroking a solo shot in the top of the seventh inning. In the eighth inning, Jorge Soler sent a ball over the left field wall and onto the concrete stairs, a place he visited twice this series. The Cubs were up 2-0.
After Anthony Rizzo doubled and drove in an insurance run for the Cubs in the top of the eighth inning, Oakland’s Marcus Seiman struck right back, taking a 3-1 mistake by Kyle Hendricks and making him pay. He hit a deep shot that cleared the left center field wall. That would be all for Hendricks.
Pedro Strop came on in relief and had no problems with the next two batters. Meanwhile, Aroldis Chapman was waiting in the wings. The game ended with a Chapman 104 MPH fastball for the strike out. Just the way Joe Maddon wrote it up.
Stats that mattered
- Kyle Hendricks was in command – 7.1IP, 1R, 3H, 0BB, 4Ks, 1HR
- Jorge Soler is in a groove since returning from the DL – 2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI, HR
- Kris Bryant hit his first HR since July 27 against the White Sox – 2-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 2BB, HR
The Cubs are hitting on all cylinders right now and there’s no sign of it ending any time soon. In their current streak, they’ve won some close games and some blowouts, showing they’ve got what it takes to win any number of ways. They’re starting to put a lot of distance between themselves and the Cardinals too with an 11.5 game lead in the NL Central.
The Cubs have the day off on Monday, their second day off in five days. This time of the year, those days off make a big difference. On Tuesday the Cubs will return home to take on the Anaheim Angels. Game time is 7:05 PM CDT and John Lackey will take the mound for the Cubs.