Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/29/19): Cubs 2, Astros 1 – Schwarber Leadoff Homer, Hendricks Gem Prevent Sweep

A pitchers’ duel between the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks and the Astros’ Wade Miley saw the Cubs walk away victorious thanks to two solo home runs, including a leadoff homer from Kyle Schwarber. In the end, Hendricks out-dueled the Astros’ righty, throwing eight great innings and only allowing one run and four hits.

Kris Bryant, in his first game back since his gnarly collision with Jason Heyward in the outfield on Sunday, added another home run that proved to be the game’s deciding blow. Steve Cishek got his first save opportunity since suffering the loss in Friday’s affair and narrowly closed it out.

Unfortunately, the most notable event from tonight’s game occurred in the top of the 4th inning, when an Albert Almora Jr. foul line drive injured a young fan. Almora was visibly shaken up as play was halted momentarily in the midst of his at-bat.

It was a frightening scene, but initial reports are the that young girl was conscious and responsive, Best wishes to the fan and his family.

Once the shock of the moment had worn off and the positive reports began to flow, the game regained a sense of normalcy. Losers of three straight, the Cubs held onto their tight lead to pull off a victory in their final game down in Houston. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

Coming off two somewhat rocky starts against the Nationals and the Reds, Hendricks turned in a gem emulative of his performances earlier this season against the Marlins and Cardinals. Over eight innings, he allowed just one run on four hits while walking just one Astro.

Meanwhile, a heads-up play by Second Baseman David Bote in the 5th inning cut down Tyler White attempting to advance to third on a grounder by Tony Kemp. Exchanging a man on third with one out for a man on first with one out helped Hendricks wriggle out of the inning to continue on his efficient path.

Key Moment

Let’s start at the very beginning with Schwarber taking Miley yard on the third pitch of the ballgame. Schwarber’s homer barely appeared to land as it descended into the Crawford Boxes in left-center field.

Stats That Matter

  • Hendricks has pitched four games this season of eight innings or more with one run or less. He only threw three such games in 2016, the year he finished third in the Cy Young voting.
  • With Schwarber’s home run, the Cubs now have five players with double-digit dingers. That’s the most in the National League and second in all of baseball behind the Seattle Mariners, who started the season with the wild 20-game home run streak.
  • Anthony Rizzo’s insane month of May continues and he’s hitting .376 this month.
  • With his single in the 8th inning, Bote extended his hitting streak to eight games. Sure wish someone would write about a mechanical change he’s implemented lately. Oh wait, Cubs Insider already did!

Bottom Line

Hendricks looks more and more like he’s aiming for an All Star bid every day and Bryant homering in his return to the lineup is a positive sign that his torrid start will not be derailed by his scare over the weekend. Though the offense did not click as well as one would hope, a win is a win.

Plus, Steve Cishek bounced back after his tumultuous outing on Friday against the Reds. The funky righty set down the Astros in order, catching White looking at the final pitch of the ballgame. Avoiding the sweep against the Astros, clearly one of the best teams in the league even when not at full strength, sends the Cubs to St. Louis on a high note.

On Deck

The Cubs head north to take on the Cardinals in a weekend series between the two division rivals. Yu Darvish is scheduled to take the mound on Friday night against Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas. Chicagoland fans can catch the 7:15pm CDT game on NBC Sports Chicago and those out-of-market fans can watch on Facebook. As always, 670 The Score has the radio broadcast.

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