Cubs Observations: Kyle Hendricks good, offense great vs. Brewers

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Tim Stebbins
·3 min read
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Observations: Cubs offense explodes — again  originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs crushed the Brewers 15-2 on Friday at Wrigley Field for their fourth straight win, improving to 10-9 on the season.

Here’s 10 observations from the game.

1. The Cubs’ offense squared up Brewers starter Brett Anderson before he exited in the first inning with right knee discomfort. Doubles by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and Javy Báez' single each had 100+ mph exit velocities. 

Even Willson Contreras’ ground out to third base was well struck (95.2 mph)

2. Those four Cubs plate appearances were a sign of things to come in the first. They scored six times on six hits and a walk. Seven straight batters reached before Kyle Hendricks struck out, and then Contreras struck out in his second at-bat of the inning.

3. Kris Bryant has been the Cubs’ best hitter through three weeks and delivered another strong performance at the plate Friday. The third baseman went 3-for-4 before exiting the game due to the Cubs’ big 11-0 lead.

4. Bryant extended his hitting streak to six games, his longest since September 2019. He’s raised his batting average nearly 100 points along the way, from .220 to .313.

5. Friday was a prime example why you take the good with the occasional bad moment from Báez. The shortstop drew the ire of some for his base running lapse on Thursday, and Friday went 3-for-5 with a home run and insane diving stop to start a double play. 

6. There’s no specific timeline for Nico Hoerner’s current big-league stint, but he helped his case for an extended stay. Making his first start since last September, Hoerner went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. He even moved to left field in the sixth inning.

7. Every Cubs starting position player tallied at least one hit Friday. Five of them — Bryant, Rizzo, Báez, Hoerner and Jake Marisnick had at least two knocks. Bryant, Báez and Hoerner each had three hits.

8. With a three-run blast in the sixth, Contreras has as many home runs against Milwaukee this season as hit by pitches: three.

9. The Cubs have scored 55 runs over their past six games to go 5-1. They scored 11 times total their previous six games, going 1-5.

"It's nice, especially after what we went through to start," Rizzo said of the offense's recent explosions. "It's still early, but not getting hits early sucks, and to be able to have these big days where a lot of guys are having big days feels good.

"It lets us all relax and exhale a little bit, maybe not grip the bat as hard and put as much pressure on ourselves as we do.

"That's the nature of this game. We all try to be perfect and it's impossible. These big days really help everyone relax a little bit."

10. Kyle Hendricks was uncharacteristically bad against Atlanta last week, allowing four home runs, but looked more like himself Friday. Hendricks tossed six innings of six-hit, two-run ball, striking out six with one walk.

Milwaukee’s two tallies came on back-to-back homers in the sixth.

Next up: The Brewers and Cubs meet again Saturday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 1:20 p.m. CT. Freddy Peralta (2-0, 2.00 ERA) and Adbert Alzolay (0-2, 6.10 ERA) are the probable starters.

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