So last night I questioned the realness of this incredible start to the season. This is the best start the Cubs have had since 1907, for the record. There was some discussion in the comments about whether or not this season counts and how real this year being held together with baling wire and duct tape will be in terms of baseball history. But that isn't really what I was mostly concerned with. I am celebrating a title if it happens this year and I don't care if anyone tries to place an asterisks on it. No what I was concerned with was whether or not the Cubs performance was real or not. The Cubs are incredibly hot right now but usually the old cliche of not being as good as your hot streaks holds true.
Or maybe it really was as simple as switching managers.
Either way tonight Yu Darvish was marvelous. The trend has been quality starts, but Darvish was special on national television tonight. The Cubs only power pitcher in the rotation struck out 11 over 7 innings, but had something special through 6 innings. He punched out 9 in those frames, but hadn't allowed a hit. The strikeouts, a hit by pitch and 2 walks had his pitch count over 90 after those 6 not hit innings.
The Cubs got on the board in the first inning with a leadoff double against the former Cubs southpaw Brett Anderson. Nico Hoerner was pressed into that spot in the lineup with Kris Bryant being a late scratch. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez had back to back groundouts that scored Hoerner with the Cubs manufacturing an old school run.
The Cubs doubled their lead the easy way. Kyle Schwarber hit a bomb to start the second inning. Anderson settled in to pitch into the fifth inning without yielding another run. He walked Anthony Rizzo with one out and that was enough to see him pulled for Corbin Burnes. Javier Baez bounced into an inning ending double play.
Burnes would pitch the rest of the game for Milwaukeee. He walked Willson Contreras to start the sixth inning. Schwarber hit the ball well but it was the first out. Ian Happ ripped a double into the right center gap to score Contreras. David Bote singled to score Happ which extended the Cubs lead to 4-0. Burnes walked two more to load the bases in a long inning of work, but the Cubs couldn't add any more runs.
Darvish punched out Avisail Garcia to start the seventh, but Justin Smoak hit a no doubter into the rightfield stands to break up the no-hitter. Darvish struck out Omar Narvaez and Ben Gamel flew out to end the inning. Casey Sadler took over in the eighth inning and was greeted with an Orlando Arcia single. Brock Holt bounced into a double play to kill the threat and Sadler faced the minimum with an Eric Sogard ground out.
Rowan Wick was summoned for the save opportunity tonight. Wick retired the first two batters, but a little trouble brewed with an Avisail Garcia single. Garcia reached third on defensive indifference and then scored on a Justin Smoak hit a ground rule double. That brought the tying run to the plate but Narvaez popped out to end the game.
Really am running out of ways to describe this team with win night after night. It seems like every game the starters pitch through six innings or more. The offense is able to score three or more runs. It truly is the best Groudhog Day.