Tonight the Minnesota Twins came up to Wrigley Field to begin a three game series following their series on the South Side. As both the Twins and Cubs look to be playoff-bound, this series shapes up for both teams to get a handle of what they’re made of. The series began tonight with a pitching matchup of two pitchers who are “crafty” personified, Kyle Hendricks and Rich Hill. How did it go?
As expected, for the first seven innings, the radar gun reminded me of this old Mariners commercial featuring Jamie Moyer:
Hill allowed two walks and a single in the bottom of the first, which was all Hendricks needed, as the Cubs defeated the Twins 1-0. This marks the first time all season the Cubs have been 11 games over .500. Let’s get to this:
Hendricks. 8 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, while only allowing 3 hits and a walk. He had the Twins confounded all night, and with the Cubs having similar difficulties against Hill, he had no margin for error. A great effort from The Professor.
Willson Contreras. He drove in the game’s only run, and threw out Jake Cave trying to steal second.
David Ross decided to have Billy Hamilton pinch run for Kyle Schwarber after Schwarber drew a two-out walk in the 6th. Hamilton didn’t steal, as he apparently wanted to have a closer look at Javier Baez striking out. Then in the bottom of the 8th, Ross pinch hits for Hamilton when you’d want his glove in the outfield in the 9th. Really questionable strategy.
Man, Jeremy Jeffress made it a lot more interesting than it should have been. Up is down, down is up, and you want Craig Kimbrel closing games.
You know you’re going to get terrible umpiring whenever you hear the name Angel Hernandez. Tonight Schwarber got hit by a Hill curveball, and Hernandez ruled Kyle leaned into it, and called it a ball. It’s something you never see get called, and Hernandez decided he would be the guardian of this arcane ruling tonight.
So with this win, the magic number drops to 6. Tomorrow the Cubs send Alec Mills against Michael Pineda.