CHICAGO – If it weren’t for Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs would have had the brooms pulled out on them in their final regular season series in what has been a short yet successful 2020 season.
All of the pitcher’s eight scoreless innings were needed along with another from Jeremy Jeffress on Friday evening since the Cubs only got a run in a victory over the Twins.
David Ross wouldn’t be so lucky the next two nights, where a cold Cubs’ offense led to a pair of defeats to end the team’s stretch at home.
Led by Jose Berrios and a trio of strong bullpen pitchers, Minnesota shut out the Cubs 4-0 on Sunday night. It finished a rough offensive series for the home team, who scored only two runs in the entire series, as they fell to 31-22 on the season and 19-14 at home.
The Cubs’ offense managed just four hits on the night while the Twins were able to get to Yu Darvish. In his final home start of the regular season, the Cy Young Award candidate allowed a run in the first and second innings then a two-run homer to Max Kepler in the seventh to finish the scoring.
Darvish finished with nine strikeouts compared to one walk but he took his third loss of the year.
On top of that, left fielder Kyle Schwarber was pulled early from the game for reasons that neither her or manager David Ross were willing to elaborate on further following the game. The left fielder did admit that misplaying a hit by Jake Cave in the second inning that led to triple and eventually a run is a play he’d like to have back.
Schwarber was replaced shortly after by Cameron Maybin in left field.
Either way, it didn’t provide enough spark for the Cubs to change their fortunes as they now face seven-straight road games to end the season – four in Pittsburgh and then three against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Still, up 3 1/2 game in the NL Central, a playoff spot is likely and so is a division title. But the team’s offense will look to pick up some momentum away from home after losing some of it at the Friendly Confines to end the season.