At long last, the Cubs have won a series for the first time since this review feature made its return to Cubs Insider. It’s more fun to read about a win and I can assure you it’s more fun to write about it too. While the Cubs weren’t quite able to pull off a three-game sweep, they won two of three and, for the most part, they looked pretty good doing it.
And let’s not forget, no one was play better than the Rockies at the start of this series. By virtue of an eight-game winning streak, they entered as baseball’s hottest team. That the Cubs were able to dispatch of them bodes well for their fortunes going forward. Speaking of the Rockies’ hot streak, they’ve managed to gain exactly zero ground on the first-place Dodgers despite going 8-2 in their last 10 games. Bummer for them.
While this column will focus on the series against the Rockies, we should note that the Cubs have actually won three of four on this homestand after winning Monday’s makeup game against the Angels. If you wanted to say that the Cubs took three of four against Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado, you wouldn’t be wrong!
Kyle Hendricks was the star of game one, pitching seven solid innings and even managing to help his own cause with what we’ll generously call a bloop RBI single.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 5, 2019
While Cubs fans won’t have the opportunity to vote for Hendricks to make his first All-Star appearance this year — even with the new voting format, pitchers are not on the ballot — you’d have to think he has a great shot. Hendricks is 6-4 with a 3.16 ERA and a career-best 5.07 K/BB ratio.
If Tuesday’s game belonged to Hendricks, Wednesday’s absolutely belonged to David Bote. Maybe it’s not really a “moment,” but Bote deserves all the praise in the world for his performance in that game. His huge night was key because the Cubs needed every bit of their nine-run outburst to hold onto a win that you’d wish hadn’t quite so close.
If you missed it, check out Bote’s boatload of highlights.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 6, 2019
The Cubs got their only run of Thursday’s game off of a Javy Báez single. Báez doesn’t seem to be completely back from his recent rough patch, but he looked a heck of a lot better this series and smacked two home runs.
- Yu Darvish has turned it on in a big way of late. While he was only able pitch 5.1 innings on Wednesday night, he looked quite good doing it before faltering just a bit at the end. Over his last two starts, Darvish has pitched 11.1 innings and given up only three runs, striking out 11 and walking six. It’s not perfect, but he’s absolutely on the right track and his stuff is looking just filthy at times.
Yu Darvish, Insane 86mph Slider. ? pic.twitter.com/b40wHnrlKq
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 6, 2019
- As already mentioned, Bote had himself a game on Wednesday night, going 4-for-4 with seven RBI. At least for the moment, Bote is forcing himself into the lineup with his bat and some of the bizarre issues we saw at times with his glove work seems to have calmed down a bit.
- Carl Edwards Jr. is doing what he can to gain some level of trust back. It’s very much to be determined if he’ll be a high-leverage option as he has at times been in the past, but CJ has been doing a nice job since coming back from Iowa. He tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball in this series and hasn’t given up a run in his last seven starts.
- José Quintana has deserved better lately. His start last weekend against the Cardinals was shortened by rain and he took the loss today despite pitching a very solid 7.1 innings. Q has walked just two men over his last three starts.
- Carlos González. I mean, just look at that smile.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 4, 2019
- A disastrous outing on Wednesday night brought Brad Brach‘s ERA up above 5.00 Brach has had a gigantic problem with walks and his BB/9 now sits at an 8.0. That isn’t gonna cut it.
- Don’t shoot the messenger, but Kris Bryant has cooled off just a bit. He recorded only two hits this series and is batting .185/.267/.259 over his last seven games. I’d bet on Bryant heating back up sooner rather than later.
The Cubs won a series! In fact, since this column was last posted on Sunday they’ve technically won two series by taking two of three from the Rockies and winning a belated two of three against the Angels with Monday’s win. With Pedro Strop back and healthy, Craig Kimbrel signed, and the Cubs back in first place, everything sure seems to be coming up Milhouse roses.
The Brewers managed to avoid being swept by the Marlins and pulled back into a first-place tie as the NL Central continues to look like it will be a tough beast to tame. But the Cubs have certainly shown they have the talent to win it and the addition of Kimbrel won’t hurt.
If you’re the kind of person that’s into revenge, the Cubs will get a chance at that in the series to come against the Cardinals. Hopefully the next time this column drops, the Cubs will find themselves having won three(ish) series in a row.