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Chicago Cubs beat on division rival so badly, they made history

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With a history stretching back to 1876, the National League in general and founding franchise the Chicago Cubs in particular have stiff competition when it comes to teams breaking records and making history.

You have to do something that hasn’t been done in 142 years, a stretch of time so long that when the Cubs were founded, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida still had Union occupation troops in them after the Civil War.

The Cubs shut out the Brewers five times in April, the first time in franchise history the team has blanked an opponent five times in a calendar month.

What’s more, in the divisional era, since 1969, the two runs the Cubs gave up in the four-game set was the lowest such total against a division rival in those 49 years, breaking the record of three runs given up to the Mets in 1973.

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The Cubs went 7-1 against Milwaukee in April, taking a pair of four-game sets during the month.

Chicago outscored its rivals to the north 29-9, and five of those nine runs came in a single game, the Brewers’ lone win, 5-4 on April 6.

The Cubs have now won six out of seven to run their record to 15-10, leapfrogging the Brewers, who went from 16-9 and sitting pretty before they headed to Chicago to 16-13 and fourth in the NL Central.

The Pirates, at 17-11, lead the division by half a game.

Do you think the Cubs will win the pennant?

The Cubs have a chance to take over first place in the NL Central, a place they’ve occupied in each of the past two seasons, if they beat the 15-14 Rockies at home Monday and the Pirates drop their game in Washington against the 12-16 Nationals.

The Brewers, meanwhile, get a breather as they take on the wretched 7-21 Reds in Cincinnati this week. They are 15-6 against teams not named the Chicago Cubs and have outscored non-Cubs opponents by 25 runs in those 21 games.

Chicago still has some issues with the pitching, as it has only 12 quality starts in 25 games, while Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana in particular have been plug awful, each posting an ERA over 5.

Quintana, whose 5.74 ERA and minus-0.2 WAR are both worst on the pitching staff, holds a 3-1 record, but Baseball Statistics 101 tells us that he can’t get the kind of run support required to keep winning ballgames forever; he needs to shake a tail feather and get his stuff under control.

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The rest of the Cubs’ starters have been excellent, putting up numbers that could very well be priming them for another deep postseason run in October if they can run the gauntlet of a tough division where four of the five teams all have realistic playoff ambitions.

Tyler Chatwood has a 2-3 won-lost record but a lights-out 2.83 ERA.

Kyle Hendricks is the innings eater, leading the staff in innings pitched at 29 and posting a 3.10 ERA.

And Jon Lester has been his usual excellent self with a 3.29 ERA.

The Cubs may be just 8-9 against teams not from Milwaukee, but their pitching staff is starting to come together, dispelling early fan fears of a down year.

And making history by silencing Brewers bats like it’s the dead-ball era all over again? That’s a nice sign.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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