Sweeping and Streaking - Cubs 9, Reds 0

SWEEP! The Cubs just swept the Reds in a four-game set at Wrigley with a 9-0 victory behind a stellar outing by Kyle Hendricks, and an offensive explosion. This is the first time the Cubs have swept a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley since 1945!

You probably remember the Cubs four-game series against the Pirates last week in which the Cubs scored a total of four runs. Despite splitting the series, they looked extremely frustrated at the plate.

What a difference a week makes! The Cubs scored a total of 29 runs over this four-game series against the Reds, including a walk-off win in ten innings on Friday.

Let's get into today's action! The Cubs struck right away with three runs in the bottom of the 1st off of Reds starter Homer Bailey. Daniel Murphy led off the inning with a single. Next up was Javier Baez who reached base on an error by Reds shortstop Jose Peraza, who couldn't get the force at second base. With two men on and nobody out, Anthony Rizzo grounded out, which resulted in an out at second, but made for men on the corners with only one out. Willson Contreras stepped up and grounded out, but that allowed Daniel Murphy to score and advanced Rizzo to second while putting the Cubs up 1-0. But, Jason Heyward wanted some insurance as he smacked a ball to center for a triple, scoring Rizzo, and putting the Cubs up 2-0. The Cubs got their last run of that inning on a single by David Bote.

The Cubs gave Kyle Hendricks plenty of cushion to lean on, but he ended up not even needing it. Hendricks threw seven dominating and scoreless innings of two-hit ball, both of which were singles. He only walked one and struck out five in one of his best, and most commanding starts of the season. Kyle has been having un uncharacteristically shaky year, so this was encouraging to see! With the win he notched today, his record is 10-10.

Hendricks kept dealing, and the Cubs kept scoring! They put up a two spot in the bottom of the 3rd inning where David Bote absolutely CRUSHED a ball onto Waveland, putting the Cubs up by five. Then in the 5th, Anthony Rizzo doubled with one out in the inning, and once again came home on a hit by Jason Heyward. Jason had a four-hit game today and has really been one of the Cubs' most consistent hitters.

Source: FanGraphs

The Cubs took a 6-0 lead into the 7th inning where they added three. That inning started with a double by Anthony Rizzo. One out later, Jason Heyward hit a single which landed Rizzo at third. David Bote struck out swinging for out number two. The Cubs got a free run when Reds reliever Robert Stephenson balked, bringing home Rizzo, and putting the Cubs up 7-0. With a man on came up Kyle Schwarber who drilled a ball to center for a two-run homer, and the Cubs took a commanding 9-0 lead. That was Schwarber's second home run in as many days.

That was it! The Cubs got the lead early and never looked back, barely even breaking a sweat. The Reds got their one and only extra-base hit in the 9th when it didn't really matter.

The Cubs are hot right now, having won five in a row. One big weapon in this stretch has been the long ball. Including today's game, the Cubs have homered in a season-high 11 straight games dating back to August 15. Along with great performance by Kyle Hendricks and a nice performance by the offense, Randy Rosario represented the bullpen in the final two innings where he shut down the Reds.

The Cubs just wrapped up game six in a stretch where they will play 23 games in 23 days. Their next scheduled off day is isn't until September 13 which is right before the Reds visit again. It's going to be a strenuous stretch, but the Cubs really have the opportunity to keep a strong presence atop their division.

Tomorrow, the Mets come into town for three games. In game one, we'll have Jon Lester against Noah Syndergaard at 7:05 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago. The Cubs will look to continue gaining ground, and chipping away at that magic number!

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  • Scooter had to just laugh at himself trying to hit Kyle today.

  • StL beat COL, so no double dip today. The Cubs’ Magic Number to clinch the division is now 29.

    The first week of the Magic Number Countdown has seen it fall from 35 to 29. Previous seasons have seen the Magic Number fall on average by about one number per day, so this is entirely within previously established norms.

    The series to watch for the first part of this coming week are PIT at StL and MIL at CIN.

    Finally, I would like to give a shoutout to our favorite punching bag Greg S, who correctly predicted a sweep in the Cubs-CIN series this weekend. Of course, his predicted sweeper was the sweepee.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The Math appears real good as long as the Cubs in this of 33 games and counting the remains between .586 (96 wins) and .636 (98 wins) crushing the odds of StL or Mil overtaking them.

    Cubs are 20-15 after ASB (.571)
    August 15-8 (.652)

    Since May 6th after losing their second consecutive walk off game to StL, falling 3.5 games back to the division leading Cardinals Cubs recorded 60 wins & 38 losses, (.612).

    Ironically the Cardinals trail the Cubs by 4 games (5 in the loss column. Cardinals are 53-46 since then (.536) but the real trend is since the ASB when the Cardinals changed filed managers, (7.5 games back), since then going 25-12 (.676). In August the Cards are 19-5 (.796).

    Lets run the trend line of August's #'s to Sept 28th when the Cardinals come to Wrigley to close the regular season. Cubs will project to have 96 wins and the Cards will also have 96 wins.

    So here is the projection for stat heads who believe in standard deviation and regressing to the mean, can the Cards maintain this pace? Or will the Cubs increase their pace?

    I think the answer is adding a productive Bryant which then extends the lineup. Betting this gets tense.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I don’t feel the tension, really don’t......
    I’m still projecting the 94 win # which the Cubs now need to go.....

    Then the Cardinals would need 21-10 to tie
    The Brewers would need 21-9 to tie.....

    They are now in must win 2 out of 3 territory all the time whereas we are alot closer to closing them out by just playing a little over .500

    The Cubs won’t play .500 ball the rest of the way........we are in GOOD shape.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    .....and what I mean is: the Cubs will exceed .500 ball the rest of the way out......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Oh I get the Math, but until I see the Cards settle back to the norm, I am not ignoring the potential. That said I have huge compliment to the Cubs FO fixing the problem of injuries. I didn't know that Murphy has the 5th best career OPS at second base, which I looked up and his career is .804, but last year two .900+ years after .770 in 2015. If/when Bryant returns it pushes Bote to the bench, which is okay in that he appears to be the late game insert for 2B unless Russell comes back healthy and strong and goes into SS pushing Baez to 2B.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I respect their potential, no doubt it’s just I don’t see it happening for them because the Cubs are now tested and have been there, along with the fact the Cub FO stayed ahead of everybody with their acquisitions who have already bettered the Machado and Archer deals.
    If the Brewers split their last 6 with the Cubs they are almost dead.
    My dream ending would be to see the Cardinals come to Wrigley only 3 out and still in the WC race and then the Cubs eliminate them from both but.........no......I don’t even want them that close by then.
    I really don’t think they will be that close.....Cubs still win the division by 6+

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    In regards to the Archer deal, the Pirates got taken. This trade is going to haunt them in the coming years.

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    In reply to ronvet69:

    Too early to say that. Give him an offseason n lets see next yr.

    It's not like the Pirates were going to win the division anyway. Yes, they had that what 10 or 11 game winning streak, but the division was a pipe dream, and we know what a crap shoot the WC game can be esp w them having to leap from so many teams.

    Personally I think there in house talent evaluators believed Meadows is what he is, a 4th OF on a 1st division team and Glasnow while promising is never going to put it together to be a TOR arm. I disagree, and obviously you do to but only time will tell whose right. Do the Pirates know their player better then the Rays know Archer. ( we can assume the Rays who were so reluctant to trade Archer in the past now all of a sudden were ready to move him see something in him where his star may be fading)

    Like i said, its going to come down to whose scouting is better and in the Rays case, whose developing is going win out to determine who wins this trade.

    The X factor in my mind Shane Baz. He could turn this deal into the heist if he reaches his ceiling, but he's so far away who knows.

    Giolito was the #1 pitching prospect in baseball for a few yrs, an untouchable future TOR arm. The nats saw something in him and felt he wouldn't reach that ceiling and were willing to trade him for Eaton. A trade that looked silly to most experts at the time. If Eaton hasn't had some many injuries, the Nats would have looked as though they fleeced the sox. Lopez is looking like the better pitcher right now and w the better future. Still sooooo much time for the sox pitchers, but thats just the early reviews.

    Scary thing some on the south side saying Moncada is a bust. Not that he's going to be a bum, but he's not going to turn into a Robbie Alomar borderline superstar. He's on pace to break the record for strikeouts! Thats insane considering how long they been playing baseball in this country. His D has been worse then advertised as well. Still looooooads of time for him too, and I really like Yoan, but w that K rate, its going to be very hard to be a superstar.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    He is the money maker of all money makers. I am having the best season betting baseball in a decade, and at least 20% is due to Simmons. If he lives in Chicago, I would love to treat him to a game, dinner at Gibsons Steakhouse on Rush after....... He's earned it

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I hit that reds series hard after Simmons prediction of a reds sweep lol keep the predictions coming greg

  • It’s nice to be talking about wins, runs, well pitched games, and falling magic numbers instead of electronic strike zones.

  • Very nice game by Hendricks. It is a good time to get into a groove.

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    In reply to John57:

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 73 yrs since the Cubs swept the Reds in 4 games at Wrigley. Another milestone passed. Right now our pitching is dominating, Bote and Baez are leading a powerful lineup and the team is loose. I know Joe gets ripped now and then, but how many other managers could keep his team sharp and winning without his best player, his highest priced pitcher we all expected to dominate and our closer. He is a legit candidate for Manager of the year.
    All I can say is this is fun to watch.

  • Love when you put exclamation points in your re-caps :) Means we won:)
    The Reds looked awful the last few days kicking the ball around and these are games that should be taken. Looking forward to the next 2 pitching matchups, we counter with the big guns which couldn’t work out better....
    Let the train keep on a chuggin.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    The Cubs will face Syndergard and De Grom in the next two contest but should still be able to beat the awful Mets!

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    Keep in mind that Votto was out the whole series, but I believe the Cubs still get the sweep if he played all 4.

  • And I think the forgotten Mills trade will produce dividends for the Cubs. Seems the Cubs with their former pitching coach and manager might have had a bit of an insight. Anyway, Karras of FS1 the other night, (boy I missed ESPN nightly Baseball Tonight) said that Murphy trade just might be the biggee of the midseason.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Absolutely ! The Cubbies are 5 and 0 since aquiring Murph. The Hamels trade is right up there also.
    With 4 games coming up in Phily, all hands on board !

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    No team fleeces the other team every time out, but Theo/Jed hit on a high percentage and hit really big on quite a few. Their FA judgement I believe is mediocre. Monty, Arietta, Russell, Hendricks, Wade Davis, Hamels, Murphy all fleecings. I think we got the short end of the stick on Quintana but we didn’t get fleeced.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    Russell a fleecing? Yea if he turns into Barry Larkin. Yes, I can see you have a low opinion of Shark n Hammel, but they were hot commodities and could have brought back a lot in trades as the deadline had not even approached yet.

    Wade Davis was a good trade, but far from a fleecing as well.

    Hamels and Murphy are not only too early, but cannot even be considered fleecings due to the parameters n conditions of the trades.

    The others though, I agree w you 1000%

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I like Shark, but to me even if Russell turns out to be 10% less than Barry Larkin that is STILL worth more than Shark. But that's petty semantics.

    At this point I think many--possibly most--people thought that Russell would be doing better than he is. But I still say he is very young. And his production, slight as it has been, has been above market value. And the Cubs still have him for indentured servant prices for a couple more years. His power is the main thing missing from his game and he has apparently been struggling with a finger injury for a while and they finally put him on the DL. If his power goes back and he can put together a .770+ OPS with good defense and low wages I will take that. It is not as high as we had hoped for but it is also not terrible.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Even 20% less then Barry Larkin, its a win, but far from a fleecing.

    Thats my point. Problem is Russell is turning into a Orlando Arcia / Darwin Barney offensive producer

    Like you say though, a lot of time. I just hope his best season isn't behind him

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    His best season will be in another uniform. I believe he will be moved this off season. With Murphy, he might not see any at bats until the Cubs clinch a playoff spot. Out of all the deals made during the rebuild, I am most disappointed in him. I was so excited as the Correa and Lindor discussions included him and after 4 years he isn't remotely in their league. He is nothing more than a good fielding streaky hitter near a .700 OPS.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    While I believe he can (will?) turn into a solid MLB player, maybe even a deserving AS your description of "nothing more than a good fielding streaky hitter near a .700 OPS" is as accurate an assessment of him so far in his career as I have seen.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    Don’t forget that we got Stropy also with Jake.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    FELDMAN!!!,... the gift that keeps on giving years later.

  • I am nervously looking forward to the 1st two games of the Mets series. Syndergard and DeGrom vs Lester and Cole should be great baseball. I’d love to see the cubs beat them both thru situational hitting and timely hits. Those two are as good as it gets and will be a great test.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Honestly, I will be happy if the Cubs split the 1st two as the Mutts are streaking right now. Offense n pitching ( minus today of course)

    Bryant looked good, so he should be coming back shortly. If Heyward and the Schwarbenator can start hitting a tad more consistently, this offense is unstoppable..... Honestly, its can be compared to the Redsox O and the other top offenses like the astros n a healthy yankee O.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The Astros offense isn’t that great, they have been carried by otherworldly starting pitching and a good not great offense. Put it like this, the Cubs offense has a slightly better OPS than the Astros and they are running a DH out there every night. I know they had injuries but we have had a MVP caliber on the shelf for at least 1/3 of a season.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Correa a MVP caliber player missed the whole month of July as well for the Astro's (actually from June 26 to August 10).

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    True, but that was my point they have their injuries we have ours. We are still posting the same to better OPS with a pitcher hitting vs their DH.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    Yes, their pitching staff has been incredible this year.

    Correa, Altuve, and Springer have all missed time this year as well.

    I can't count An offense that has just won the World Series by mostly swinging the bats in the playoffs down even if they are having a slightly worse year then last along w some injuries.

    Yes, the NL Central is a great division, but its nothing like the AL West right now w Zero tanking teams.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Also let me add 1 more thing.

    They were also missing their 3 of their top 4 offensive players during that recent stretch when the A's actually caught them. Coincidence?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    A reasonable expectation is to win one of those games. We also face Foltynewicz and Nola this week. You want to see how this offense (still without KB) can do against great pitching? Here's where you find out.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I forgot about Folty this week. If the Cubs can win 3 of 4 and score an avg of 4 or more in those 4 games, I consider it a good barometer for postseason success.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I'd be happy with 2 of the 4 tbh. That said we sure got Murphy at the right time.

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    In answer to BP's question--
    Yes You May!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Has anyone heard from BP?

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Russell is on the DL, so him and BP are probably having drinking contest on odd number days and on even number days, BP is trying to show him how to be a professional adult.

  • Not only am I nervous about this mets series, I'm flat out petrified. The mets have played much better baseball lately, they have outscored opponents 110-56, syndergaard & degrom are already a problem to face but vargas has pitched good lately too.

    Ignore their record the are better than that, I'm worried about dropping 2 out 3 and being up 2 games on the cardinals.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed at least it's at the friendly confines where we're tough to play but this is gonna be a tough week in general against those 2 mets starters, Mike F. with atlanta, Nola in philly and then Strasburg and Scherzer in washington. That has to be one of the more brutal stretches of pitching that any team has to face and I'd be happy if we played above .500 ball during this upcoming stretch. I just hope the cards start to lose some games they really have a shot to gain some ground this upcoming stretch but let's not count our guys out Murphy brings another dimension to this lineup and we're still the better team in all of these matchups

  • Don’t want to be a downer here but every time we get on a little streak people start counting wins and playoffs. Let’s not forget that this offense can disappear as fast as it can score 9 runs. These next 3-4 four series are gonna show what we’re made of. (Mets, Atl one game, Phil, Brews). Meanwhile the cardinals have a much easier two weeks. This Cardinals team is a hard hitting inspired group. Alot of there young pitching, both starters and in relief have not been exposed to many teams yet which can be a hugh advantage. Just saying that these cardinals and especially their fans probably won’t go away anytime soon.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Agreed these next 2 weeks are going to play a huge part in this race. We need to beat this mets team at wrigley where the cubs have been difficult to beat all season long before we enter a road trip where we'll be in 3 cities in 3 days from Wednesday-Friday. Hopefully we get a rain delay too in the middle or near the end of this 23 games in a row stretch

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