Cubs pitchers have shined this past week with a couple of brilliant starts. One of those pitchers is Keegan Thompson.
Keegan Thompson entered the season as a multi-inning relief pitcher. Thompson turned heads with his extended starts in his last two appearances.
These two appearances were much better after a disappointing start, where he only lasted 0.2 innings against the Yankees. In those 0.2 innings, he gave up five runs, three of them earned, in a huge blowout loss.
Thompson dominated the hot Atlanta Braves in his first start after the blowout.
In his six dominant innings, Thompson added nine strikeouts, allowed two hits, and zero earned runs while walking two batters. Thompson allowed the only two hits for Atlanta, but his start pushed the team to a 1-0 victory. Thompson limited damage from the Braves’ numerous stars. Atlanta’s superstar outfielder Ronald Acuña went 1-4, and Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, and Travis d’Arnaud went hitless during the game. Mychal Givens, Chris Martin, and David Robertson pitched an inning of relief to finish the Braves.
Thompson outdueled the Braves’ starting pitcher Charlie Morton in the victory.
Thompson followed up his dominant start with another against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the start, Thompson threw another six innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, one walk, and seven strikeouts. The Cubs’ offense backed Thompson up this time as Chicago blew Pittsburgh out 14-5. Bryan Reynolds was the only Pirate who notched more than one hit in the game, and the Cubs held Pittsburgh’s Rookie, Oneil Cruz, hitless.
Givens, Robertson, and Daniel Norris shut the door, despite giving up four runs in the victory.
Thompson wasn’t the only starter to shine in the past week. Kyle Hendricks looked like his 2016 self on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In his start, Hendricks pitched 7.1 innings, five hits, six strikeouts, and one walk. In his prime seasons, Hendricks was incredible at limiting hard contact. Friday’s game was no different. Hendricks limited quality contact, despite allowing five hits. Through seven innings, Hendricks was unstoppable and only allowed three singles. The Cardinals have many offensive stars. Out of the first four batters, only one got a hit; Tommy Edman singled in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hendricks faced some trouble.
With only one out in the eighth, he allowed two hits, and runners advanced to second and third. Manager David Ross took Hendricks out, and Chris Martin limited the damage
Robertson finished the job in the ninth, and the Cubs won 3-0.
Ross spoke about Hendricks’ performance against St. Louis: “He locks it in when the stage is big,” Ross said. “Sometimes, your rivalry game is one of those stages.”
Kyle Hendricks is now 13-3 against the Cardinals.