Chicago Cubs extend their lead in the division with another victory

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Behind a dominant outing from Cole Hamels and a solo home run from Kyle Schwarber, the Chicago Cubs tallied a third-straight win Friday night.

In a sort of deja vu experience, the Chicago Cubs picked up their second consecutive 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night in the Steel City. They received dominant starting pitching and the offense did just enough to get the job done.

Chicago (71-50) has leaned heavily on Cole Hamels since trading for the veteran left-hander. And, to-date, he has answered the call at every turn. Making his fourth start as a Cub, the southpaw twirled seven shutout innings before giving way to the pen.

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The offense continues to be a bit worrisome. Somehow, they’ve escaped Pittsburgh with wins in the first two games of the series while putting up a measly two runs. Since Aug. 8, the Cubs have scored five or more runs just one time – an 8-4 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Right on queue, Kyle Schwarber made me look like a bit of a clown – and I’m fine with it. I penned a piece right before first pitch detailing how fans and the front office need to change how they view the slugging outfielder. He promptly hit a moonshot blast to lead the offense. Again, he can keep proving me wrong anytime he so chooses. Totally fine with it.

Aside from the win over the Bucs, we talked about Ben Zobrist and the impending electronic strike zone. Make no mistake, it’s coming – really, it’s a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. Maybe it’s because we’re all hypersensitive to the issue, but this year’s work on the bases and behind the dish hasn’t been impressive, to say the least.

And last, but certainly not least, we talked about David Bote. The poster child of Chicago baseball – at least right now. His emergence not has not only kept the Cubs atop the division, but has given Kris Bryant the time he needs to get his ailing shoulder right.

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These and other stories you may have missed

Watch the Cubs turn a record SEVEN double plays – Bleacher Nation

Is the front office too high on Kyle Schwarber? – Cubbies Crib

Emergence of Bote gives Cubs much-needed roster flexibility – Cubbies Crib

Montgomery to the DL; Rosario back with the Cubs – MLB.com

An electronic zone is coming to baseball – are you ready? – Cubbies Crib

Next. With brutal stretch, Cubs will have to earn another crown. dark

What’s Next

Chicago continues a weekend series at PNC Park Saturday evening. Tyler Chatwood (4-5, 5.06) returns to the rotation in lieu of an injured Mike Montgomery opposite righty Joe Musgrove (4-7, 3.49).

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