By: Alex Patt
The Cubs have had a mostly positive week going through Labor Day, having an extremely successful home stand and keeping pace with the red-hot Brewers. However the last two games have not been so pretty, but still have a 3.5 game lead over Milwaukee heading into Tuesday.
The week started with a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Wrigley Field, a series which the Cubs outscored the Pirates 27-5 and saw starters Jake Arrieta, Jose Quintana and Mike Montgomery record quality starts. The Cubs scored 17 runs in the finale which every starter contributed with the bat, including Quintana’s first career RBI hit. Wade Davis recorded his 27th consecutive save last Tuesday which was a new Cubs franchise record.
Next up the Atlanta Braves came to town for a four-game set with usual Cub-killer Brandon Phillips being shipped off to Anaheim. The Cubs won the first three games of the series which saw a bit of everything. Justin Wilson who had his struggled struck out the side in the 9th to seal a 6-2 win in the opener with Kyle Hendricks providing another solid performance, lowering his ERA to 3.32. Once again Javier Baez dazzled with his skills and scored the winning run on Friday afternoon by scoring from 2nd on an infield single by Kyle Schwarber in a 2-0 win. It even saw John Lackey throw a 7 inning shut out that same game. Saturday’s game was a wild 14-12 victory which the Cubs pen gave up eight of Atlanta’s 12 runs in the final three innings. Anthony Rizzo in that game hit an RBI triple that clinched his way to another 30 HR/ 100 RBI season.
The Cubs lost the finale 5-1 to Atlanta as Milwaukee and St. Louis both won, but the big story was Javier Baez who slid head-first into 2nd and banged into the 2nd baseman and eventually leaving the game looking woozy. Concussion was the biggest fear, but he seems to be okay and won’t miss much time at all. Labor Day was very rough as the Cubs headed to Pittsburgh to once again take on the Pirates and the opener ended in a 12-0 loss which Jake Arrieta was pulled early with clear leg problems. People feared the worse that he hurt hit hamstring, but it turns out to be a cramp and he does not expect to miss a start.
Cubs will finish three more games vs. the Pirates before heading back home to take on the Brewers in a very big series.