That was a nice tight game for a while. Then it wasn’t.
Kyle Hendricks did as Kyle Hendricks does, allowing only a solo homer to Chris Carter (the homer, and the truth, was out there). In the process, he dropped his league-leading ERA to just 2.07, putting sub-2 within the possible outcomes for the end of the year. Which would be swell.
Joe Smith pitched another scoreless inning, and he’s been perfect – with great-looking stuff – since coming off the disabled list with the hamstring injury. I suspect folks will be reticent to accept it (rightly so, given his down year and how bad he looked initially with the Cubs), but it’s possible he’s, like, really good again.
Felix Pena also pitched a scoreless frame, as he’s done in all of his appearances except one. Barring a rash of injuries, I can’t see Pena making the playoff bullpen this year, but he’ll absolutely be in the mix for the pen in Spring Training 2017, which could be an extremely fun competition.
Offensively, the Cubs got contributions from up and down the lineup, except perhaps the two most obvious places. And that says a lot about these Cubs.