The Cubs let countless opportunities to score slip through their fingertips, but that was OK because a single run was enough in their 1-0 victory over the Brewers.
The Cubs have now won 7 games in a row and are 31 games over .500 while pulling within a game of the Pirates for the right to host the Wild Card game on Wednesday.
Kyle Hendricks is all of sudden looking like a safe bet to make the playoff rotation should the Cubs reach the NLDS as he turned in his 2nd straight start of 6 shutout innings. He didn’t give up a hit until the 6th inning and didn’t walk anyone while striking out 8. Hendricks finishes the regular season with an 8-7 record and was able to get his ERA down to 3.95 on the year.
Chris Coghlan went 3 for 4 today and finished just a HR shy of the cycle. He hit a hustle triple (his 6th) that definitely looked like a double off the bat, but the left fielder hesitated with the ball and Coghlan never stopped chugging along. His double (25th) was also a hustled hit down the LF line that saw him slide safely into 2nd ahead of the throw.
Addison Russell drove in Coghlan after his triple in the 2nd inning to provide all the offense the Cubs would need. Russell went with the pitch and drove the ball through the right side of a drawn in infield for his 54th RBI.
Hector Rondon was locked in as he earned his 30th save of the year with a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 9th. He struck out 1 and induced 2 groundouts while lowering his ERA to 1.67 on the year. He has really matured into his role as the closer and I find myself just hoping the Cubs can get him into the game with the lead.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are both sitting on 99 RBI and both had ample chances to surpass the century mark today. They each left 8 men on base with Bryant striking out 3 times with men in scoring position and less than 2 outs. I don’t know if it is a situation where they are pressing or if they even realize that they are sitting on 99, but it wasn’t very good tonight with men on base for these 2.
Game 162 starts tomorrow at 2:10 PM (CST) and can be seen on WGN. A really cool thing about tomorrow is that all of the games are scheduled to start at 2:05 PM (CST) or 2:10 PM (CST), so everyone has to play at the same time. It will be a really neat day that will see me do a whole bunch of scoreboard watching for the Pirates-Reds game.
Dan Haren (10-9, 3.67) will get the call for the final game of the year as he faces off against Jorge Lopez (1-0, 5.40) for the Brewers.