Cubs' starting pitchers have been on a roll recently, anchoring the team during its 30-day stretch without a day off. Over each of their last six starts (entering Wednesday), Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and José Quintana have been flat-out dominant.
#Cubs' rotation over the last month (six starts apiece):— Eli Hershkovich (@EliHershkovich) September 19, 2018
- Cole Hamels: 39.1 IP, 1.83 ERA, 2.3 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP
- Jon Lester: 36.1 IP, 1.73 ERA, 4.6 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP
- Kyle Hendricks: 38.2 IP, 1.63 ERA, 5.2 K/BB, 0.98 WHIP
- Jose Quintana: 34.1 IP, 2.10 ERA, 2.5 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP
Mike Montgomery has been stellar lately as well, allowing two runs or less in five of his last six starts. One common trend, though, is that Cubs' starting pitchers have been susceptible to the long ball as of late.
Hamels has allowed five home runs total in his last three starts, including two Wednesday night. The veteran left-hander surrendered a three-run blast in the first inning as well as a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
Lester has not allowed a home run since Aug. 27 against the Mets, but Hendricks has allowed one in two of his last three starts. Quintana allowed two solo homers in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Reds, while Montgomery has given up one in each of his last two starts.
Home runs by the oppposition haven't hurt the Cubs much recently, as they are 18-11 in their last 29 games. The pitching staff has been excellent down the stretch, outside of Wednesday's 9-0 loss.
Even then, though, the offense scored zero runs on one hit, so the three home runs that the pitching staff allowed ultimately did not matter.
Come October, though, it could be something to look out for, when one swing of the bat could change a game or series instantly.