The Cubs staged a 9th inning come-from-behind victory against Josh Hader last night to even the series at 1-1. That victory also pushed the Brewers to 5 back in the division and held the Cardinals at 3 back. Heyward was the hero, smashing a go-ahead 3-run homer and Vargas followed up with an solo shot for insurance prompting me to wonder if Vargas might actually be good for something on a team stacked with 2nd base depth. Meanwhile, Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs' bullpen deserve credit for keeping the game close for 8 innings, and Kimbrel managed to close it out in the 9th. Perhaps the offense can lead the way today and take some pressure off of a Cubs' bullpen that has been surprisingly effective in September.
Archive - 2020 - story
The Brewers defeated the Cubs in a 1-0 pitchers' duel and the series stands at 0-1 in the Brewers' favor. The Brewers are now 4 games behind the Cubs and 1 behind the 2nd place Cardinals. Are these games part of the "stretch?" It is September, and only 14 games remain. On the other hand, that's nearly 25% of the season. Both teams have had to manage so far without major contributions from their star hitters. On the Cubs' side, Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, and Schwarber are all near the Mendoza line, and Contreras only recently woke up. For the Brewers, Yelich is also batting near .200 and Keston Hiura has struck out 33.3% of the time while batting .224; their top performers have been Avisail Garcia and Jedd Gyorko. Will role players continue to prop up each team as they drive to the season's conclusion?
With last night's unlikely comeback win against the Reds, the Cubs continued to hold their nearest division competitors at a reasonable distance. The Cards split their doubleheader and remain 3-games back in 2nd place. Milwaukee enters this series at 5.0 games back and needing a series win to keep themselves in the race. They will send their opening day starter to get the series going, but the Cubs will be fortunate the Brewers' surprise best starter, Corbin Burnes.
The Cubs lost a tough one. Darvish struggled with his command in the first inning and then was his dominant self after that, while the Cubs offense floundered against a locked-in Trevor Bauer. The series stands at 1-1 with the Reds' secondary ace, Sonny Gray, taking on an intriguing Cubs fill-in, Adbert Alzolay.
The Cubs continue their campaign toward the playoffs with another match-up of aces. Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer face off again. Darvish won the last round on Aug. 29 and has since defeated Jack Flaherty as well. Meanwhile, the Reds will struggle to stay in the Wildcard race and they send their top starter to get the job done.
With 18 games remaining, the Cubs are still in 1st place and 2.5 games ahead of their nearest rival, the Cardinals. They welcome the 4th place Reds to Wrigley for a 3-game series before heading out for a brief road trip to Milwaukee. There are 10 games left against the NL central for the Cubs. Cincinnati enters the series a long shot for the division at 5.5 back, but they have the same number of wins as Milwaukee and more than the second-place Cards; they are very much still in the playoff hunt.
The Cubs now have a 3-game losing streak in the middle of this series. They come into the day 1.5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the division. Will they win the finale and hold the Cardinals at a distance, or will they find themselves with a rival right on their tail?