Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks Leads Team To First Win Since Friday

Kyle Hendricks #28, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Kyle Hendricks #28, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs close out their long weekend series with St. Louis winning 5-1 in Monday’s game. They gain a 1.5-game lead in the NL Central.

After losing three games in a row, the Chicago Cubs bounce back huge by taking a 5-1 win at home against the Cardinals. The Cubs struggled after winning the first of five games of the series on Friday. From there, the Cubs lost three games in a row, including a doubleheader on Saturday.

There were some surprises to the series. Jon Lester didn’t play well at all in his start on Sunday. The team struggled to get runs and left too many men on base the entire series. Even in the 5-1 win, they left too many men on base.

A positive was how great Javy Baez, Ian Happ, and Kyle Hendricks played in yesterday’s game.

Baez went 3-for-4. That was his first multi-hit game since August. He’ll need to keep that up for the Cubs if this team wants to improve their lead in the division. If one of their best hitters gets in a slump like that, it sets the tone for the entire team.

Happ, who had a good series hitting two home runs on Saturday, went 1-for-2 and was walked three times on Monday. Since being moved to the leadoff spot, he’s helped the Cubs get men on base, as he’s started off strong. The issue is, they’ve struggled once they have men on base.

Hendricks did what Hendricks does, pitching eight innings and just giving up one run. In those eight innings, Hendricks had four strikeouts, along with giving up seven hits. The Cubs defense showed up tonight, leaving six of the seven men on base for the Cardinals.

After a great showing from those three players, the Cubs will go into a three-game series against the Reds on Tuesday. The 24-18 Cubs have a chance to gain ground on the Cardinals if they can win at least two of the three games this week against the Reds.

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The Cubs are 4-3 against the Reds this season, so it’ll be an interesting series. The projected starters for the two teams are Alec Mills (3-3, 5.50 ERA) for the Cubs and Tyler Mahle (1-1, 3.90 ERA) for the Reds.