Cubs Hold Serve Against Brewers In Big Game

"There would have been a lot of folks running for the hills had we lost," Joe Maddon says.

Bruce Levine
August 15, 2018 - 6:32 pm
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, left, and reliever Pedro Strop celebrate a win.

Patrick Gorski/USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- There are 43 games left for the Cubs in this regular season, but their 8-4 win against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon was the type that in hindsight often turns out to be crucial.

Their lead in the NL Central down to two games after an ugly 7-0 loss to the Brewers on Tuesday, the Cubs responded with an all-around effort to reclaim a three-game lead. 

"We have played a lot of meaningful games, so we know not to hang our hat on one game," said first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who homered to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead and had three RBIs. "There is still a lot of baseball to be played. You'd definitely rather be up three than one. Sometimes when you lose and the teams below lose, it's a lot easier to turn the page."

Entering play Wednesday, the Cubs had been average since the All-Star break in going 13-12, but they looked like a division lead with their play Wednesday.

"Psychologically, there would have been a lot of folks running for the hills had we lost," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The fact that you win that game settles down that method. There is still a long way too go. I have been in Yankee Stadium losing a doubleheader late in September and still able to get our team to the playoffs. You can't overreact. If you want to ride the emotional roller coaster, you can. That will wipe you out. We try to win hard for 30 minutes and lose hard for 30 minutes. After that, you move on. If you adopt another method in this industry, that will eat you up."

The Cubs are 9-4 against the Brewers this season with six games remaining against them, all coming in a nine-day stretch in the first half of September.

Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks earned the win by going six innings, allowing four runs. He kept the Brewers scoreless through three innings, and the early offensive thrust helped a Cubs team relax that has often played from behind lately.

"That was a good win to pick up today," Hendricks said. "Every game is important now and going down the stretch. I thought I threw the ball pretty well. My fastball command was really good. After we gave up two in the fourth, it was huge to come back and score in the bottom of the inning."

The Cubs know that while every game counts the same, games late in the season will be magnified, with less margin for error.

"I think early on in the season, it was going to come down to the wire," Rizzo said of the NL Central race. "I really don't see us or any team pulling away. You win a game in the division, it's big. This one was nice."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.