It’s only May 6th, feeling okay? This series has been a roller coaster of emotions, and tonight we can all breathe a little easier as the Cubs just barely hung on to beat the Cardinals 6-5. Both teams scored in alternating innings until the eighth when they both pushed across a run. Jon Lester didn’t do himself any favors as he made an error which led to an unearned run, which was not the only unearned run of the night. The Cardinals got two more after a two out error by Addison Russell, but Lester battled all night. The newest ace of the Cubs was able to work through seven strong innings before watching the bullpen shut the door, I wouldn’t say they slammed it, they shut it quietly. Nice to be out from under that losing streak, and the Cubs can now go for the split tomorrow afternoon.
At the Plate:
- Chris Coghlan was plugged into the two hole tonight, he did his job by getting on base, he didn’t have any hits but he walked twice.
- Anthony Rizzo is hunting down the MVP, he was 2-for-4 with his fifth dinger of the year, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Kris Bryant continues to produce, he was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored.
- Jorge Soler seems to be coming out of his slump, he was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the win.
- Dexter Fowler, Starlin Castro, David Ross, and Addison Russell all chipped in with a hit.
On the Mound:
- Jon Lester was gritty tonight, he worked seven innings, giving up four runs, one earned, on seven hits while walking two, and striking out six.
- Pedro Strop had another shaky outing, he worked one inning, giving up one run on one hit while walking one.
- Hector Rondon walked the tightrope as well, he worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the year. He surrendered one hit while walking one, and getting one huge strikeout.
Well, that was fast, under two and a half hours roughly. Jason Hammel was outstanding tonight as he completely shut down the Pirates from the first pitch as the Cubs took the series opener, 4-0. Hammel went eight shutout innings, and was never really in trouble as he only allowed four base runners, all hits, no walks. The Cubs got their runs from likely sources, Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs as did Kris Bryant. All four runs were driven in with two outs, you can’t really measure how important those hits are. With the shutout win the Cubs have now won three straight, and have improved to 11-7 on the year, mighty impressive.
At the Plate:
- Dexter Fowler got things going from the lead-off spot again, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
- Jorge Soler broke out of his recent slump, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.
- Anthony Rizzo continues to be a machine, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Kris Bryant is racking up the RBI’s, he was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s in this one, and he has knocked in nine so far this year.
- Miguel Montero, Starlin Castro, and Addison Russell all had one hit in the win.
On the Mound:
- Hammel Time! Jason Hammel was stellar, he worked eight shutout innings, giving up four hits, he didn’t walk anybody, and struck out seven.
- Pedro Strop shut the door in an uneventful ninth, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
Both the Cubs and Pirates head into a three game series on the Northside with some momentum. The Cubs are coming off an exciting, rain shortened series in Cincinnati where they took both games, one of which was another come back victory. After taking the last two games of the series against the Cubs, the Pirates swept the Diamondbacks this weekend and have won their last five games. It’s a battle for second place as the Cubs (10-7) and the Pirates (11–8) are both two games back of the Cardinals in the Central.
- Monday, April 27, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – WPWR 50
- Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Game One: Jason Hammel (1-1, 5.19) vs. Vance Worley (2-1, 4.00)
- Game Two: Travis Wood (1-1, 3.24) vs. Jeff Locke (2-0, 3.32)
- Game Three: Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 5.74) vs. Gerrit Cole (3-0, 2.19)
Who is Hot:
- Pirates: Noted Cub killer Neil Walker is apparently not just killing the Cubs lately, he’s scorching hot. Over his last seven games, the Pirates second baseman is hitting .393 (11-for-28) with five doubles, and five RBI’s.
- Cubs: There are a lot of good first basemen in the National League, Anthony Rizzo might be the best. Over his last seven games, Rizzo is hitting .455 (10-for-22) with two doubles, a dinger, two RBI’s, four walks, and one strikeout.
Who is Not:
- Pirates: I’m not sure I want to mention this, because you know it won’t last. Andrew McCutchen is hitting .143 (3-for-21) over his last seven games with one double, and seven strikeouts.
- Cubs: It’s probably not easy to be a 21 year old in the Majors, Addison Russell is proving that. In his first five games he’s hitting .136 (3-for-22) with two doubles, four RBI’s, and twelve strikeouts.
Another night, and another close game, what else is new. Jon Lester turned in his best start of 2015, his only issue was Billy Hamilton who reached base twice, stole three bases, and scored twice. Other than that, Lester was brilliant as he struck out ten in his six innings of work. The Cubs were paced offensively by an Anthony Rizzo two run dinger, and a huge game tying solo shot by Chris Coghlan in the seventh. After watching Jason Motte get out of bases loaded trouble in the bottom of the tenth, Jonathan Herrera came up with a big hit in the eleventh. Herrera lined a base hit to right which scored Rizzo, got Bryant to third, and Herrera took second on the throw. Both of those guys scored on a bases loaded David Ross double which put this one out of reach.
Rizzo’s two run blast.