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.
The Cubs have all of a sudden found some clutch hitting, and that is leading to some exciting baseball, and wins on the Northside. One night after scoring four times with two outs, the Cubs pushed six across after two outs for good measure. Going back to Sunday the Cubs have had thirteen two out RBI’s, THIRTEEN. So it really is not a surprise that the Cubs have won four straight games, clutch is good, clutch is productive. Travis Wood didn’t need much help in this one as he picked up his second win of the season, he was stellar over seven innings. The Cubs will go for the sweep tomorrow night against Pittsburgh’s ace, Gerrit Cole.
At the Plate:
- Dexter Fowler is scorching hot right now, he went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s, and a stolen base.
- Kris Bryant came up with another big hit tonight, he was 1-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI.
- Starlin Castro, have a night, he was 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
- Junior Lake made a splash (heh) in his return, he was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Welington Castillo, Chris Coghlan, and Addison Russell all had one hit in the win. Russell added an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
On the Mound:
- Travis Wood got the start, and picked up his second win of the year. Wood worked seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking none, and striking out nine.
- Zac Rosscup and Jason Motte each worked a scoreless inning to secure the win.
Fun fact, the Cubs had five stolen bases on the night, they now have twenty-five on the year, that leads all of baseball.
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.
The Cubs head to Cincinnati to continue their seven game road trip, and they have a sour taste in their mouth. Although a four game series split in Pittsburgh is all you can ask for, the Cubs feel that they should have won the series. While they should have closed that one out yesterday, they probably should have lost game two, so I’ll call it even. The Cubs bullpen is reeling however, and they will need some deep starts from their best pitchers in this series. The Reds come into this series feeling pretty good about themselves as they took three out of four against a crapshow of a Milwaukee team, and sit just a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central.
- Friday, April 24, 2015 – 6:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – ABC 7 Chicago
- Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – WGN TV
- Game One: Jon Lester (0-2, 6.89) vs. Mike Leake (0-1, 3.92)
- Game Two: Jake Arrieta (2-1, 1.74) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 0.86)
- Game Three: Travis Wood (1-1, 3.24) vs. Jason Marquis (1-1, 7.20)
Who is Hot:
- Reds: Zack Cozart is out of his mind right now, he’s putting up almost impossible numbers over his last seven games. Cozart is hitting .393 (11-for-25) with a double, FOUR dingers, and seven RBI’s, wut?
- Cubs: After a bumpy start, Starlin Castro has been scorching hot. In his last seven games Castro is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with one homer, and seven RBI’s, looks like a middle of the order guy.
Who is Not:
- Reds: It appears that Marlon Byrd is regressing to meet the levels of his Cubs career. Over his last six games he is hitting .095 (2-for-21) with one home run, and eight strikeouts.
- Cubs: The magic that Chris Coghlan had at the beginning of the season seems to be fleeting. In his last seven games he is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with one RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts.