Chicago Cubs: Three takeaways from series sweep of Cardinals

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Cole Hamels
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Takeaway #2: Cubs starters excellent over three games

The Cubs came into this series with the best pitchers in their rotation ready to start three games this weekend. It was pretty smooth sailing for all three starters, save one inning of game two. Still, it was a great weekend in terms of pitching.

First up was pitcher Cole Hamels, who started Friday’s game against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. Mikolas won 18 games last season and is the Cards’ top starter, but it was Hamels who was the ace on this day.

Hamels pitched eight scoreless innings on Friday, striking out 10 batters while giving up just three hits and one walk. The Cardinals only run of the game came on a home run off Cubs closer Pedro Strop.

It was starter Jon Lester’s turn on Saturday, and he got off to a rough start. Lester gave up four runs in the first inning, and it seemed as if the Cubs were in for a long day. But the team battled back to win 9-4.

Lester pitched six innings in the game and didn’t give up another run after his disastrous first. He gave up two homers during that inning but only gave up one infield single for the rest of his outing. He ended up with six strikeouts and two walks on 100 pitches.

The Cubs offense bailed out Lester, but he was the one who got his stuff under control and kept the game within reach. He was impressive even though it was clear he wasn’t in top form.

Sunday night’s game featured starter Kyle Hendricks, who had another stellar start against the Cardinals. He’s already had one complete game shutout against the Cards this year, and he didn’t disappoint this time out either.

Hendricks pitched seven innings in the 5-1 win, striking out three and walking one while giving up eight hits. It was another masterful performance from The Professor. The Cubs are 10-0 in his last 10 starts against the Cardinals.