The Cubs needed a big swing in a big way, and Jason Heyward stepped up and gave them just that.
In danger of being shut out for the third time in four days, Heyward hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth on Saturday off Brewers closer Josh Hader.
Ildemaro Vargas added a home run one batter later, giving the Cubs a 4-2 win in an unbelievable swing of events.
Heyward's heroics salvaged another quality September outing from Kyle Hendricks, who was on the hook for the loss after making one mistake pitch.
Some quick takes from Saturday:
Hendricks has been great in September in his career and continued that trend on Saturday. The right-hander pitched 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out seven.
The only blemish on his final line was a two-out, two-run homer by Ryan Braun in the fourth inning, which was setup by a two-out single by former Cubs farmhand Dan Vogelbach. A 2-2 sinker from Hendricks stayed over the middle of the plate, and Braun didn’t miss.
For his career, Hendricks holds a 2.53 ERA in September/October regular season games, his best ERA in any month.
Hendricks’ outing was the fourth quality start from the Cubs rotation in five games (Yu Darvish on Wednesday and Jon Lester on Friday) but like those games, the offense was quiet.
Then, Heyward stepped to the plate and drilled a three-run homer to right-center field. It was only the second hit a lefty has recorded off Hader this season, the first being Rizzo's single one batter prior.
The Cubs offense finished the night with eight hits, half coming off Hader.
Head to head
Dating back to September 2018, the Cubs are 4-9 against the Brewers. They have a chance to tie the 2020 season series at 5-5 on Sunday after losing the 2019 series 9-10.
Moving on up
Saturday was Craig Kimbrel's second save of the season. He now has 349 in his career, passing former Cub Randy Myers for 12th in MLB history.
"I swear if I told him to get the catching gear on, he’d be like, 'Great, let me go block some balls.’” –David Ross on Nico Hoerner, who’s played three different positions (second base, shortstop and third base) in three days.
The Cubs and Brewers conclude their season series on Sunday. Alec Mills (4-3, 4.74 ERA) and Adrian Houser (1-4, 5.48 ERA) are the probable starters.