Cubs: 3 takeaways from a massive series win over the Brewers

In a must-win series, the Chicago Cubs took care of business - keeping hopes of an NL Central crown alive heading into September.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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3 things we learned about the Cubs this week: #2: Kyle Hendricks has quietly been very, very good since returning from surgery

When Kyle Hendricks made his long-awaited return from 2022 shoulder surgery in late May, no one really knew what to expect from the veteran right-hander and former ERA champ. But since returning, he's been vintage Professor, keeping the Cubs in games and providing much-needed consistency behind Justin Steele in the starting rotation.

On Thursday, Hendricks was at his best, masterfully keeping the Brewers hitters off-balance with a sharp change-up and pinpoint location. Although the bullpen couldn't get him the win he deserved, Hendricks still gave David Ross exactly what he needed: six innings of one-run (zero earned) ball, striking out six and lowering his ERA on the year to 3.59.

With Marcus Stroman still working his way back from his rib injury, it's not a stretch in the slightest to think Ross could go with Hendricks in Game 2 of a potential postseason series - or even the opener, depending on the matchup. His postseason resume speaks for itself and, based on what we've seen (and saw again on Thursday), Hendricks is ready to roll for another big October start.