The Chicago Cubs have won the first game of a series for the first time this season. It is just the second time this year that the team has the chance to actually win a series outright. In order to clinch that victory, the Cubs are going up against one of the best pitchers in the game in Adam Wainwright.
Can the Cubs parlay their extra-innings win on Friday night into an actual winning streak? They could as long as their offense continues to hit the way it has over the last week.
After starting out looking as anemic as any team in the major leagues, the runs have been coming at a pretty healthy clip. The team might have needed extra innings to accomplish it, but last night’s six runs was the fifth straight time that the team has scored four or more runs. That five-game streak comes on the heels of their first five games in which they never scored more than three runs, never had an inning where they scored more than one run and were shut out twice.
It might seem a bit ridiculous to think the Cubs could keep up their offensive mojo considering who they’re going up against today. Wainwright may only be 1-1, but he’s also sporting an ERA of just 1.29.
The good news is that the Cubs have had pretty decent success against the pitcher. Over the course of his career, Wainwright has posted an 8-6 record with a 4.29 ERA against Chicago. That ERA is almost a run and a half higher than the pitcher’s career ERA.
If the Cubs are going to keep on keeping on, they are going to need another game like last night from the likes of Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz went 4-for-5 on Friday and raised his season average from .185 to .281 while starting a modest hitting streak of two games. If he’s finally finding his rhythm in the middle of the order, it bodes well for the rest of the offense.