After rattling around the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, the Chicago Cubs pulled out a win in a pitchers duel tonight.
The Chicago Cubs (12-8) needed Kyle Hendricks (2-1) to rebound tonight, and that’s exactly what he did. After struggling a bit out of the gate, Hendricks settled in and pitched six shutout innings. By far his best start of the year and one that Hendricks sorely needed. By the time Hendricks settled in, the game had turned into a pitcher’s duel.
Gerrit Cole (1-3) has done well in his career against the Cubs (9-2 in 13 starts), and he was much the same today. Limiting the Cubs to just two hits, Cole exited after 77 pitches and seven innings. Fortunately for the Cubs, they had a 1-0 lead, thanks to a throwing error by Alen Hanson. That one run would hold up throughout the game with neither team doing much of anything offensively.
The Pirates (8-12) best scoring chance came in the seventh after a leadoff double by Jon Jaso against Koji Uehara, but the Pirates were unable to score.
Despite just two hits, the win powers the Cubs to a season-high four games above .500. While that might not sound like much compared to last April, it’s a welcome relief after a rough patch at Wrigley. Oddly enough, the Cubs have played better ball on the road than at home this season.
Takeaways From The Game
Despite struggling early, Hendricks pitched like the 2016 Hendricks. His velocity was back up, touching 88 mph even into the sixth inning.
After scoring 14 runs on 18 hits yesterday, the Cubs offense was only able to muster two hits and one run tonight.
The Cubs played in three 1-0 games last year, losing all three. Tonight was their first 1-0 win since October 2015.
The Cubs have now played seven series on the year, and have six of the first seven. Their only series loss came against the Pirates at Wrigley, when the Cubs got swept.
In the end, a win is a win. It doesn’t have to be pretty. The Cubs will look for the series sweep tomorrow night. Jon Lester (0-0 2.66 ERA) goes against Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 7.94). First pitch set for 6:05 on CSN.