Kyle Hendricks (13-7, 2.09 ERA) isn’t turning into, he is, the best, most dominating pitcher on a team with five incredible starting pitchers. We’ve been talking about him and his league leading ERA for a little while now and this is a signature win for Kyle. This is one of those performances that helps to bolster the case, when the case needs bolstering, come Cy Young Award time.
The Pirates never had a chance against Hendricks’ wicked off-speed stuff. He used it to hold Pittsburgh to three measly hits. Watching him pitch I can’t help but think that his sinker, change-up combination may be the best in baseball. Wow. I just said that about Kyle-freakin-Hendricks.
On offense, the Cubs benefited from Anthony Rizzo’s two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning. Before the Cubs had two outs they had two runs.
Miguel Montero would single in the bottom of the second inning, driving in his second run in two days. That would be all the runs the Cubs would need as they go on to win the game, and the series, by the score of 3-0 (Box Score). Tomorrow they’ll be going for the sweep.
Stats that mattered
- Utter. Hendricks. Domination. – 7.0IP, 0R, 3H, 1BB, 4Ks
- Carl Edwards, Jr. and Aroldis Chapman combo out of the bullpen was excellent – 2.0IP, 0R, 1H, 1K
- Anthony Rizzo had his turn tonight to flex his MVP muscle – 1-for-4, 1R, 2RBI, HR
The Cubs looked great tonight. Top to bottom that was just a rock-solid game. Going into September, with this team at the wheel, this is just what the doctor ordered.
Joe Maddon sat two starters tonight – Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist – and the Cubs didn’t skip a beat. They are going to be able to expand the roster on September 1 and bring up players the likes of Albert Almora and Jeimer Candelario, who Joe will be able to plug right in to keep things – and by ‘things’ I mean ‘wins’ – chugging right along. This is where Joe will reap the benefits of all that he has sewn this season.
On Wednesday the Cubs go for the sweep of the Bucs. If they get it, that would be their third sweep over the Pirates this season. Game time tomorrow is 7:05 PM CT. Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.60 ERA) will start tomorrow for the Cubs.