The Chicago Cubs started off their final regular season road trip with a bang in Pittsburgh. On a day that the world of professional baseball honored a fallen Ace, the North Siders showed no mercy. Also, one star finally surpassed a career-high.
With the regular season coming to a close, the Chicago Cubs (100-56) continued to keep things rolling with a huge win in Pittsburgh. Not to mention, they tallied their 100th win of the year which is something they haven’t done since 1935.
While their bats were driving in runs by the minute (figuratively), right-hander Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 1.99 ERA) turned in another gem. Prior to taking the bump, Hendricks was 2-1 in the month of September. And lowered his earned-run average in the process.
Kyle held the Pirates (77-79) to seven hits, zero walks, and five strikeouts in six scoreless innings. However, he put himself in a bit of a pickle late by giving up back-to-back-to-back two-out singles in the sixth.
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Despite loading the bases with a massive lead, Hendricks was able to escape without surrendering a run. Great news, considering how dangerous the Pirates can be with runners in scoring position.
Aside from Hendricks, Chicago’s offense was on fire. Outfielder Jason Heyward put his team on the board with a sacrifice fly in the first. Little did we know, a grand slam would be on the menu for this playoff surging club.
Unloading The Bases
Just a few innings later, infielder Javier Baez stepped into the batters box with the bases juiced and no outs. Heyward reached on a single, Addison Russell was hit by a pitch and Albert Almora Jr. moved them over with a hit.
Pirates starter, Chad Kuhl, left a third-pitch sinker float above the plate. As a result, Javier pulled it down the left-field line and into the bleachers for his 14th homer. A grand slam that extended Chicago’s lead to 5-0.
In addition, N.L. MVP candidate Kris Bryant has been chasing 100 RBI since falling one short in his rookie campaign. Tonight, he had a few opportunities to surpass that milestone in his young career.
One of his many chances came with the bases loaded but he grounded out instead. Rather than having to wait another day, he unloaded for a two-run homer in the sixth inning. His 39th big fly and 101 RBI which started a six-run inning.
And while it looked as if the Pirates were going quietly, they proved us wrong. Reliever Hector Rondon took the mound in the home half of the eighth. The Pirates launched back-to-back homers off him to begin the frame.
It wasn’t enough for the Bucs who were down by a large margin.