Hendricks dominates, Chicago Cubs win 10-5 to sweep Pirates
The Chicago Cubs were dominant against the Pittsburgh Pirates yet again Sunday, winning 10-5 behind a fantastic Kyle Hendricks start and several home runs to complete the sweep.
At first glance, Sunday’s matchup between the Chicago Cubs (47-20) and Pittsburgh Pirates (33-36) appears as a game that was much closer than what the score reads. In reality, the Cubs dominated the Pirates to complete another three-game sweep of their division rivals.
Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 2.94 ERA) was flat-out dominant over his six innings of work, striking out 12 Pirates and giving up just one run. Despite giving up seven hits, one can argue that the only true mistake Hendricks made was the pitch Josh Harrison hit into the bleachers for a home run.
Besides the home run, Hendricks had the Pirates on their toes all night. In fact, tonight’s game was the first double-digit strikeout game of his brief career, meaning the 12 strikeouts are a career high for the Dartmouth product.
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Hypothetically, one can argue that the Cubs could have won this game even if Hendricks didn’t pitch as strongly as he did. Sunday night’s game saw five Cubs players hit a home run, equalling seven of the team’s ten runs on the night.
Three of the Cubs’ home runs came off Pirates’ rookie starter Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.50 ERA). The former #2 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings pitched Sunday, picking up the first loss of his big league career along the way.
The first homer that Taillon served up came in the second inning off of the bat of Javier Báez, his sixth of the season. The very next inning, though, Taillon gave up back-to-back home runs to Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the 17th of the season for both men.
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Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night came in the sixth inning when rookie Willson Contreras made his first big league at-bat. On the very first pitch, Contreras unloaded an 81 MPH changeup into the right-centerfield bleachers for a home run, obviously the first of his career.
Contreras’ home run put the Cubs up 6-1, a lead that held up the rest of the way. To add insult to injury, Addison Russell also played long ball, hitting his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning to put the Cubs up 10-4.
Next up for the Cubs is a three-game series at home against the rival St. Louis Cardinals. The series opens Monday night, with John Lackey getting the start again Jaime Garcia. Tune into CSN-Chicago at 7:05 p.m. CT for the first pitch!
YouTube video courtesy of MLB’s official channel.