The Brewers are playing .600 baseball — and a scintillating .667 if you subtract the rival team that plays 90 miles to the south.
The Cubs won for the 10th time in their last 12 games and improved to a season-best 12 games over .500.
Mike Montgomery delivered another solid outing in replace of the injured Yu Darvish. Montgomery improved to 2-0 with a 1.01 ERA as a starter, compared with his 5.33 ERA from the bullpen. (And compared with Darvish’s 4.95 ERA).
NEW YORK -- One of the game's most exciting players was at it again as Javy Baez stole home in the seventh inning of Sunday's 2-0 win over the New York Mets, breaking a scoreless tie and leading the Chicago Cubs to a four-game sweep and 6-1 road trip.
"First move to the plate," a smiling Baez explained after the game. "He (pitcher Steve Matz) can't see me. I was just seeing how high he was going with the leg. If he goes to the plate I would just come back to third base. He took his time to go to first. I went for it. I'm glad I made it."
The sequence began with Baez on third base while teammate Willson Contreras was on first, after both singled to open the inning. Contreras served as the bait against the lefty Matz.
NEW YORK -- The irony for the Chicago Cubs is that even though they've been reducing their high strikeout games at the plate, every so often they get into one that makes the history books. It happened again Saturday, in their 7-1, 14-inning victory against the New York Mets.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Cubs' MLB-season-high 24 strikeouts were the second-most in a win by any team since the mounds were moved to their current distance in 1893. According to Elias, the Cubs are the third team since that same year to have multiple 20-strikeout games in the same season, as they also struck out 20 times on March 30 against the Miami Marlins.
Left-hander Randy Rosario bailed Tyler Chatwood out of a jam in the sixth inning Friday night that enabled the Cubs to rally to a 7-4 victory, and his performance could get him more high-profile assignments.
“Rosario permitted a lot of that to happen,” manager Joe Maddon said of Rosario’s 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, which allowed left-hander Brian Duensing and Steve Cishek to be used in limited work in the latter innings. “Those were micro-moments for each guy.”
In the wake of Carl Edwards’ right shoulder injury, Rosario “can be the real outlier” in the bullpen because of his effectiveness against right-handed batters as well as left-handers. Rosario hasn’t allowed a run in four appearances covering seven innings.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa broke open an early pitchers’ duel to defeat Penn State, 9-1, in Big Ten baseball action Friday evening on Banks Field.
The game was scoreless through the first four-and-a-half innings, but Iowa broke through for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Six-straight Hawkeyes reached base on a five hits and a hit by pitch, and catcher Tyler Cropley and third baseman Matt Hoeg both hit two-run singles, while another run crossed on a passed ball.
It was their fifth straight victory scoring three or fewer runs, and it marked the first time that has happened in baseball since 2011 -- and the first time ever for the Cubs. The streak has also vaulted the Cubs into first place in the National League Central as the calendar turns to May.
They’ve won four straight and nine of their last 13 after sweeping the Brewers with a 2-0 win on Sunday, and we’re still waiting for the offense to break out.
For now the Cubs will take what they’re given. A win’s a win, so if the pitching is going to carry them for now, that’s fine.
CHICAGO -- When the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, breaking a title drought for the ages, they did it on the backs of a dynamic starting rotation.
Yes, Kris Bryant was the MVP, and David Ross was on the most fun farewell tour of all time, and Anthony Rizzo drove in 109 runs, and Aroldis Chapman was throwing 103 mph out of the bullpen. But it was a rotation that sported a 2.96 regular-season ERA -- 64 points better than that of any other team in the majors -- that allowed Chicago to keep its pedal to the metal from March to November.
CHICAGO — Jose Quintana pitched seven sharp innings to help the Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee 3-0 on Saturday and continue his dominance of the Brewers.
Quintana (3-1) has thrown 24 straight scoreless innings against Milwaukee dating to July 28. The left-hander tossed six innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 win at Miller Park on April 8.