Following last weekend’s sweep in St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs fell into second place in the NL Central Division behind the Milwaukee Brewers, but were able to regain a toehold on first place following a win in the Monday makeup game against the Los Angeles Angels as well as a series victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies. Then, the St. Louis Cardinals returned to town for a three-game weekend series. The weekend also included a controversial reception for Republican Party Trump supporters hosted by the Cubs’ owners, the Ricketts family.
The Cubs swept the three-game series in order to remain tied with the Brewers, who have won four in a row, and keep ahead of the Cards in the season series. So far, the road team has yet to win in this year’s matchup.
Friday, June 7
Cubs 3, Cardinals 1
W: Cole Hamels (3-1)
L: Miles Mikolas (4-6)
S: Pedro Strop (6)
SP Cole Hamels was lights out for the Northsiders, allowing no runs on three hits in 8.0 IP with ten strikeouts. INF Javier Báez provided the game’s big blow, a two-run homer driving in INF Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the 1st. Pedro Strop returned from the Injured List to nail down the save for Hamels. Although he spoiled the shutout by allowing a solo shot to INF Paul DeJong, Strop was able to induce the final outs to give the Cubs a victory in the series opener.
Saturday, June 8
Cubs 9, Cardinals 4
W: Jon Lester (5-4)
L: John Brebbia (1-3)
Things were looking bad for SP Jon Lester after allowing four runs in the 1st inning on homers by OFs Marcell Ozuna and Harrison Bader, but he was able to stop the bleeding thereafter and outlast his St. Louis counterpart Jack Flaherty, allowing four runs on five hits in 6.0 IP with six strikeouts and two BBs.
The Northsiders tied the game on a solo blast by OF Kyle Schwarber and took the lead with a four-run inning of their own in the bottom of the 6th thanks to a bases-clearing double by PH Victor Caratini and a double by Schwarber. The Cubs pen did the rest to ensure a series victory and a potential sweep in the Sunday finale.
Sunday, June 9
Cubs 5, Cardinals 1
W: Kyle Hendricks (7-4)
L: Adam Wainwright (5-6)
S: Pedro Strop (7)
SP Kyle Hendricks spun another gem to secure a tenth consecutive Cubs victory against the Cardinals in a game he started, a team record for pitchers appearing since 1908 (h/t Cubs Radio). New leadoff man Schwarber went 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored, while OF Carlos González hit his first homer as a Cub to give the Northsiders some insurance heading into the 9th inning.
The Cubs will hit the road following a 6-1 homestand for a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies starting tonight, followed by a four-game set against the league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers starting on Thursday. Yu Darvish will take the ball for the Northsiders against Rockies pitching leader German Márquez this evening at 8:40 PM ET. Support the site by buying your tickets from SeatGeek!