Observations: Cubs avoid history, snap losing streak


With the Cubs' losing streak on the doorstep of history, Kyle Hendricks took the ball and did what Kyle Hendricks does.

Hendricks threw yet another quality start Tuesday, leading the Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Reds that snapped their 12-game skid — the fifth longest in franchise history and tied for longest this century with the 2012 team.

“That felt really good,” manager David Ross said. “The guys played a great ballgame, a clean ballgame. Got great pitching, timely hitting."

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. The Cubs picked up their first win since Aug. 4, ending a 12-game losing streak in which they were outscored 101-43 by the Rockies, White Sox, Brewers, Marlins and Reds. The skid was two losses shy of the franchise record 14-gamer from the start of the 1997 season. 

"It was a good feeling in the clubhouse, obviously," Hendricks said of ending the skid, "with what we've been going through lately, just to finally see a result."

2. Hendricks held the Reds hitless through 4 1/3 innings before Tyler Naquin dropped a bloop single into center field. The right-hander worked around a leadoff walk and that hit, getting the next two batters to keep the Reds off the board.

3. After a rough outing last week against the Brewers, Hendricks bounced back by allowing one run, a Nick Castellanos solo home run, in six innings. He surrendered three hits and three walks in his 18th quality start in 25 outings this season.


4. Frank Schwindel continues to make a good impression in a Cubs uniform. The first baseman went 2-for-4, giving the Cubs an early 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the third. He's on a six-game hitting streak — after going on an eight-gamer earlier this month. Schwindel has a hit in 14 of 16 games with the Cubs, batting 21-for-55 (.382/.414/.727).

"I think Frank's done a really nice job of hard contact a lot, all over the field," Ross said. "The home runs are going to center. When he's fooled, it's hard contact down the lines. Looks really good off left-handed pitching.

"He's been really big for us."

5. That double put Schwindel’s name next to a former great Cubs corner infielder in the record books. Schwindel is the first Cubs right-handed hitter since Aramis Ramirez in 2011 to have an extra-base hit in six straight games.

6. Before Schwindel’s double, the Cubs had not led a game since Saturday, when they scored three times in the eighth inning to take a 4-3 lead over the Marlins. Miami reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the frame.

7. University of Cincinnati product Ian Happ has always hit well at Great American Ballpark and hit a solo home run in the sixth. Happ has 12 career home runs at the ballpark, his second most at any behind Wrigley Field.

Happ went 3-for-4, his fourth three-hit game this season. The first three all came in May.

"It looks like he's found his rhythm the last little bit," Ross said. "Seems to be taking some better swings. Hopefully he can continue to do that. That's an early nice sign from him tonight."

8. For the first time in their combined 21 seasons in the big leagues, Austin and Andrew Romine were in the same starting lineup. Austin (seventh) and Andrew (eighth) became the first brothers to start the same game for the Cubs since Kid and Lew Camp on May 8, 1894. 

9. Ottawa, Ill. native Michael Hermosillo made his Cubs debut in a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh, popping out to right field. Hermosillo batted for Rafael Ortega, after Ross discussed pregame a possible center field platoon, with Hermosillo, a right-handed bat, facing lefties, and Ortega, a lefty bat, facing righties.

Hermosillo caught the final out of the game.

10. Codi Heuer picked up his first save in a Cubs uniform and the second of his career, shutting down the Reds in order in the ninth. The right-hander hasn't allowed a run in seven of eight outings since coming over from the White Sox at the trade deadline.

"He's done an amazing job, man," Hendricks said of Heuer. "He's got really good stuff, from what I've seen already, attacks the strike zone, has three really good pitches.

"Just being in this system, I think he's going to keep getting better and better, and his role is going to get bigger and bigger. I'm really excited for him. I know he loves it, too. He wants the ball in those spots. Just cool to see him come through."


On deck: First pitch for Wednesday’s series finale is 11:35 a.m. CT. The Cubs will call up Adrian Sampson (4-5, 4.96 ERA in 16 games/14 starts with Triple-A Iowa) to start. Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58 ERA) is the Reds’ probable starter.

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