The Cubs’ starting pitchers continued their dominance of the Brewers’ hitters. Because of that, the Cubs continued their control of the Brewers.
Tyler Chatwood allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings to help the Cubs blank the Brewers 2-0 on Sunday and complete a four-game sweep. The Cubs are 7-1 this season against the Brewers, who came to town with an eight-game winning streak and were supposed to be the Cubs’ main competition for the National League Central title.
‘‘We’ve played them eight times this month, which is pretty significant,’’ Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘When you can play somebody in your own division eight times and do well, it’s always a boon. They came in winning eight in a row, also. We’ll take it.’’
Cubs pitchers allowed only two runs in the series, the fewest they had yielded in a four-game set since June 2-4, 1919, against the Pirates (two runs). The starting rotation, meanwhile, has delivered six consecutive quality starts and has a 0.90 ERA during that span.
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Cubs starters threw 27 innings without allowing an earned run in the series. Nobody seemed to recall being part of anything like that before.
‘‘That’s pretty special, what we were able to do out there,’’ Chatwood said. ‘‘We’re getting deep into games now, too. It was pretty fun to be a part of.’’
With good pitching, Maddon said ‘‘there’s a confidence factor’’ that’s similar to the one with good hitting.
‘‘It’s contagious,’’ he said. ‘‘Good starting pitching becomes contagious. They start pushing one another in a positive way. All of these starts have been within good numbers. They haven’t been pushed too hard to this point of the season. All the rainouts . . . they actually need to be on some kind of a schedule. I think you’re going to see them continue to feed off one another.’’
Closer Brandon Morrow, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save, was impressed. Like everybody else, he strained to remember witnessing something like the Cubs’ starting pitching during the weekend.
‘‘I don’t know about in a four-game series,’’ Morrow said. ‘‘That was a clinic. They did a great job of battling out of danger when they got there. A lot of quick innings, as well, and then being really economical throughout the game and going deep enough to keep all of us fresh.’’
Chatwood walked three, raising his total to 22 on the season, but he kept Brewers hitters off-balance and continued the run of quality starts he began Tuesday in Cleveland.
‘‘That shows you what he can do,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘When he knows where that baseball’s going, he’s got that electric kind of stuff, really a lot of movement in the zone, a lot of ground balls. There’s a strikeout in him; there’s a ground ball in him. Those are two great qualities for a pitcher.’’
After a rough start to the season that wasn’t helped by the challenging weather, Cubs pitching has shown its share of great qualities recently.
‘‘You don’t want to be the guy left behind,’’ said Chatwood, whose RBI single in the fifth gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. ‘‘I think everybody’s kind of pushing each other, and I think that’s what good rotations do. Obviously, we have a good one here, so it’s going to be fun throughout the whole season just feeding off each other and having performances like we have this last series.’’