The Chicago Cubs ended their final home series of the regular season with a win over St. Louis. Seems like the year began just a week ago, maybe because this club has played great.
It all starts tonight in Pittsburgh as they take on the Pirates. Last season, the Chicago Cubs (99-56) battled it out with the Bucs for the N.L. Wild Card spot. Eventually, Chicago moved on and squared off against the St. Louis Cardinals.
At the time, John Lackey stood tall as the Redbirds ace, shutting down his current team in the opening game of the NLDS. When it looked as if the Cubs were going to be eliminated early, they turned things around.
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Tonight, right-hander Kyle Hendricks will take the bump for the Chicago Cubs in game one of this four-game set. Not only is Hendricks (15-8, 2.06 ERA) looking to add to his N.L. Cy Young-like season, but the Cubs are one win away from 100.
Despite losing in his previous outing, Hendricks worked a solid six innings. Milwaukee tagged him for two earned runs on six hits as the young righty struck out nine batters. Those nine punch-outs are Kyle’s third best this year — he struck out 12 twice prior.
Flirting With History
And not to mention, Hendricks nearly hurled his first career no-hitter while visiting the Cardinals in St. Louis. It wasn’t until the ninth inning when he made his first mistake, leaving a pitch over the plate which was taken deep. As a result, skipper Joe Maddon removed him from the game as he received a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Furthermore, he’s 2-1 while posting a 22/4 K/BB ratio in the month of September. Hopefully, he can keep the Pirates at bay tonight and secure the Cubs’ 100th win of the season. Something, at least, I haven’t seen in my lifetime.
Actually, the 1908 World Series Champions ended the regular season with a record of 99-55 following a 107 win campaign. Yet, they would go on to winning 104 games in their next two seasons. Rather impressive if you ask me.
Starting opposite Hendricks will be 24-year-old Chad Kuhl. Kuhl (5-3, 3.73 ERA) is riding a two-game win streak into tonight’s contest. While on this streak, Kuhl has yielded only three earned runs on a combined nine hits in 12 innings of work.
First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. central time. You can catch the game live on MLB.tv, CSN-C, and 670 The Score.