Remember this one. When the Cubs lose a game later this year that you just can’t believe they lost, remember that tonight they won a game in which they didn’t even drive in a single run.
Kyle Hendricks was overall solid tonight, with his fastball velocity creeping back up to the more familiar 87mph range. At times, his command was strong, with good movement on all his pitches. He was still up in the zone more than you’d want to see from him, and I definitely wouldn’t say he had his typically impeccable control. But given what we were looking at and discussing earlier today, I’d call that start a great stepping stone and a big win.
Gerrit Cole really had it working tonight, as he went seven innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and striking out eight. If not for the one rocket he gave up (an Addison Russell double) and an ill-timed throwing error, the Cubs wouldn’t have scored at all off of Cole, and he may well have gone a couple innings more. He threw just 78 pitches, with a whopping 56 for strikes. He was in the zone all night, unafraid to challenge Cubs hitters who could do nothing with him.
But the Cubs’ bullpen and defense picked up where Kyle Hendricks left off, and – almost impossibly – they made that 1-0 lead stick.
Just think … this one counts as much as last night’s 14-3 drubbing. They were both baseball games, and they looked absolutely nothing like each other.