Cubs

Observations: Hendricks rolls, offense breaks out

Cubs

The Cubs beat Cleveland 7-1 Tuesday night, improving to 41-33 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Rookie Cleveland pitcher Eli Morgan entered the day with nine earned runs in two career starts (6 1/3 innings). He retired the first 11 Cubs in order — six on strikeouts.

2. David Ross said pregame he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Kris Bryant gets hot “real soon,” after watching his at-bats Monday. Ross might be onto something; Bryant hit a solo home run off Morgan in the fourth for the Cubs’ first hit.

3. If it feels like it had been a while since Bryant got an extra-base hit, that’s because it had been. That home run snapped a 48 at-bat drought that dated back to June 4 — also the day he last went deep.

4. Maybe the Cubs offense is also on the cusp of turning things around, too. They scored seven times Tuesday, tying their output from the previous five games. In the sixth inning alone, they scored four times on five hits while sending nine batters to the plate.

5. Six games without a home run felt like a lot for Patrick Wisdom, based on his first month this season. He went back-to-back with Willson Contreras in the eighth for his 10th home run of the season.

6. Kyle Hendricks gave up some hard contact but wasn’t hurt by it, as four balls with over 100-mph exit velocities were hit for outs. Hendricks kept Cleveland off the board in his six innings, allowing four hits and no walks.

 

7. Is it time for Hendricks to start thinking about the All-Star Game? He’s thrown eight straight quality starts and nine in his last 10 outings — holding a 2.53 ERA over that span.

8. Even Superman has an off night. Ryan Tepera's 20 1/3-inning scoreless streak (dating back to May 12) ended in the eighth, when he loaded the bases with nobody out and gave up a run. To his credit, Tepera limited the damage to that one run.

9. Javy Báez said Monday night — following his benching by David Ross — he’d be back to help the team on Tuesday. He smacked an RBI double in his return, giving the Cubs a 4-0 lead in the sixth.

10. If the Cubs lead past the sixth inning, the game is all but over. They improved to 34-1 when leading after six innings. 

On deck: The Cubs are off Wednesday, their first day off since June 10, before opening a four-game series Thursday at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is 9:10 p.m. CT. Zach Davies (4-4, 4.66) is the Cubs’ probable starter, while the Dodgers’ is TBD.

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