Quick takes: Yu Darvish throws one-hitter, Cubs add insurance in win vs. Brewers


The Cubs still have the best winning percentage in baseball.

By beating the Brewers 4-2 on Thursday, the Cubs improved to 13-3 (.813). They also are tied for the most wins in MLB, despite having their three-game series at St. Louis postponed.

Darvish sets season high

With a fastball up and in to Omar Narváez, Yu Darvish recorded his 11th strikeout of the night, a season high. The next batter, Ben Gamel, flew out to left field for the final out of the seventh inning.

That’s how Darvish’s night on the mound ended. If it weren’t for one pitch – a cutter to Justin Smoak – he would have allowed no hits. But his outing was still dominant: seven innings, one hit, one run, two walks, 11 strikeouts and 104 pitches.

The one run came on Smoak’s solo homer in the seventh inning.

Starting off young

The Cubs scratched Kris Bryant (left wrist and ring finger soreness) from the lineup Thursday. He had rolled his wrist on a dive in left field the night before. That gave 23-year-old Nico Hoerner the chance to bat leadoff for the first time this season.

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Hoerner started off his night at the plate with a double to left field. He advanced to third and then scored on two consecutive ground outs. That put the Cubs on the board.

He made hard contact in his second at-bat a well, but lined out to right field.

Well insured

The Cubs have made a habit of piling on insurance runs in late innings. Thursday was no different.


Entering the sixth inning, the Cubs already had a two-run lead. They scored two more.

Willson Contreras led off with a walk. Then, two batters later Ian Happ hit a double off the center field wall. Contreras checked over his shoulder as he rounded third and never slowed on his way to sliding head-first across the plate. Safe.

Happ advanced to third on the throw home and then scored on a single by David Bote.

Where they stand

With a 13-3 record, the Cubs have had their best 16-game start since 1907, when the team also won 13 of its first 16 games.

On Deck

Thursday’s game was the first in a four-game series against the Brewers and kicked off a 10-game homestand.