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Chicago Cubs Continue Incredible Run With Seventh Straight Win

Sunday’s win by the Chicago Cubs over the Washington Nationals capped a great week in which the club answered all questions in the early season by sweeping two National League contenders in the Pittsburgh Pirates followed by the Washington Nationals.

The Cubs had their best game of the week on Sunday with a 13-inning 4-3 victory on a game winning home run by Javier Baez over the Nationals.

Baez this far has been a valuable asset who is able to play three infield positions better than the starter at any of the three.

However, it was with his bat, with a two-strike count, that ended Sunday’s game. Baez received the headlines, but many will remember the game for the tactics Joe Maddon the Cubs manager was so successful with.

Maddon played bench players well before the game went into extra innings but it never hurt him. Maddon did not pitch hit for relief pitcher Trevor Cahill during the seventh at the leadoff spot even though Chicago trailed at the time 3-1.

Cahill repaid Maddon’s gamble by leading off with a single. In the same inning, Maddon had Jayson Heyward the struggling right fielder sacrifice a pair runners  for only the second time of his entire career and first in 3 seasons.

However, the best moves in the game, Maddon reserved for extra innings. He walked Washington’s best hitter Bryce Harper on two occasions with runners on first and second during a tie game.

Ryan Zimmerman followed Harper in the Washington batting order and could not produce stranding 14 players on base during the game.

Harper reached base seven times in the game on six walks and a hit by pitch.

The Chicago win lifted the Cubs to 24-6. The record is the best in the majors for the first 30 games of the season since the Detroit Tigers in 1984 that eventually went on to win the World Series.

The Cubs’ ace on the mound, Jake Arrieta is 6-0 with an ERA of 1.13 and has a no-hitter this season, but could not get the win on Sunday after lasting just five innings.

The relievers for Chicago were impressive, with four pitchers throwing 8 innings and not allowing a single run.

The Cubs are already 7 ½ games ahead of the second place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central.

There are 132 games left to play for the Cubs, but such play early in the season, is only a sign of what is to come as the season continues.

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