Chicago Cubs: Positives and negatives from series sweep vs. Cardinals

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs had a critical three-game series against the first place St. Louis Cardinals to open their long homestand.

If ever there was an important as a series for the Chicago Cubs in the first week of May, this was it. The Cubs entered the weekend just 2.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals after finishing up a 4-1 roadtrip in Arizona and Seattle. After a rough first week of the season, the Cubs bounced back nicely and had not lost a series since the first weekend in April.

The Cardinals entered this series winners in 8 of their last 10 games and an overall record of 20-11. Finishing in third place last season, the Cardinals fired manager Mike Matheny in mid-July. Interim manager Mike Shildt took over and lead the Cardinals to a 41-28 finish down the stretch, which was good enough for the team to make him the permanent replacement.

Both teams had obviously been playing well coming into the series and a sweep could find the Cubs back atop the National League Central Division.

Game 1

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 4-0 behind a dominating start from Kyle Hendricks and Anthony Rizzo smacked a three-run homer. Javier Baez also singled to score Kris Bryant.

Game 2

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-5 after falling behind 5-1. Kris Bryant had an RBI single in the first inning and both Taylor Davis and Javier Baez homered as Pedro Strop locked down the win in the 9th inning.

Game 3

The Cubs dismantled the Cardinals 13-5 on their way to a series sweep. Willson Contreras opened the scoring with a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning and the Cubs offense would never look back. The entire team jumped on Cardinals pitching as they got RBI hits from Heyward, Rizzo, Bote, Zobrist, and Almora and the cherry on top was Kris Bryant’s grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning.