No time like the present to get on a roll. The Cubs once again take the field against the hapless (HAPP, amirite?) Marlins in Miami tonight at 6:10 PM CST. Every team wants to get off to a good start and the Cubs are no different, they have a great opportunity to really put the screws to the Marlins tonight and take a big step towards a series win with a big effort.
Radio: 670 the Score
Kyle Hendricks takes the ball in what many believe could be a special year for the professor, as you can see from the image above, Kyle is jacked up. The Cubs will face off against Caleb Smith who is someone that I have never faced so I have something in common with all the Cubs. No Cubs hitter has any experience against Smith who has just two games started at the big league level. Neither were very good, but he did have a strong year in the minors last year.
Player to watch: It’s Hendricks, expectations have never been higher and I’m right there with the masses. Time to take it to another level.
One pitch, one loud noise, welcome to the 2018 championship season. Ian Happ decided to send that special first pitch of the season baseball into the right field stands to set the tone today. The Cubs’ bats were in midseason form as they cranked out three dingers en route to an 8-4 opening day victory. Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber supplied the rest of the power in this one as both launched solo shots.
Jon Lester didn’t have it, period. It looked like the velocity wasn’t there, and he found himself nibbling the zone way too often, looking a lot like Jon Lester circa 2017. I wouldn’t read too much into it, Lester typically starts slow and as Maddon said after the game the little extra finish on Lester’s pitches just wasn’t there today.
Aside from the power surge the strong work of the bullpen grabbed the rest of the headlines. Newcomer Steve Cishek was tremendous as he was forced into early duty when Lester couldn’t get out of the 4th (my Dad shakes his head in disgust). Cishek worked and inning and two-thirds giving up one hit while walking one, and striking out two. The bullpen combined to go five and two-third scoreless innings while giving up just one hit.
Good start. Welcome back, baseball.