CHICAGO – For the last few weeks, the Brewers have been trying to show people that they’re a legitimate contender in the National League Central Division. But over the past four days, the Cubs proved to them that the division championship still comes through Wrigley Field.
A sweep of Milwaukee not only knocked them out of first place, but put the Cubs just a half game out of the lead in the very early going in the Major League Baseball season. But it’s the way they did it that made it a historic week – and perhaps settled some nerves of fans of the team after a few shaky moments the past few weeks.
Over the four-game series the Cubs allowed just two earned runs – just two. Per the team, it was the least number of runs allowed since they gave up just three against the Mets in a four-game series in April of 1973. Per the Chicago Tribune, it was the first time they allowed just two runs in a four-game series since a series with the Pirates in June of 1919.
What’s incredible is just one of those runs was earned- a seventh-inning run charged to Steve Cishek on Friday. Yu Darvish’s one run allowed was unearned in his strong six-inning, three hit, eight strikeout effort in a 3-2 win victory.
Kyle Hendricks was even better on Thursday in perhaps his best performance of the season, throwing seven innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts and no walks in a 1-0 win. Jose Quintana could say the same in a performance that was on par or better, as he went seven innings and allowed just two hits and struck out seven in a 3-0 win.
On Sunday Tyler Chatwood capped off the weekend in style as he went seven scoreless as well in allowing just two hits and striking out four compared to three walks in a 2-0 victory.
The Cubs’ offense probably will have to be a little better moving forward – since they only provided nine runs over four games. But in a critical early season series, the pitchers had their back.