A Tip of the Recap – September 25th
The Cubs were so close to completing the comeback, but just came up short and lost by a score of 3-2 to the Pirates today.
Jon Lester dueled with Gerrit Cole today and pitched very well (really well enough for the win). He went 7 innings, giving up 2 runs (both earned) on 5 hits with 0 walks and 5 Ks. The real mistake was giving up an RBI single Cole in the top of the 3rd with 1 out, but Lester did escape the inning from there. He was the tough-luck loser, falling to 10-12 on the year with a 3.43 ERA.
Addison Russell went 1 for 3 with a bunt single and an RBI fielder’s choice to get the Cubs on the board in the 4th inning. It was his 51st RBI and his AVG is at .237. Russell has struggled a bit in September, hitting just around .200 in 22 games, but he has been getting pretty consistent rest, so hopefully he will bounce back soon.
Chris Denorfia led off the 9th inning with a double (his 11th) down the RF line. One out later, he came in to score on a triple from Starlin Castro (also down the RF line). It was Castro’s 2nd triple and his 64th RBI and his AVG now sits at .265. He really busted it out of the box to get to 3rd easily on the hit and he looks like a man on a mission (I am so glad that the front office did not trade him at the deadline).
Kris Bryant has continued the surging that he has been doing over the past couple months with another multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a couple singles and a run scored. He is hitting .278 on the year and looks poised to lead the team in RBI (currently at 98).
The Cubs had the tying run on 3rd base in the bottom of the 9th with 1 out, but Jorge Soler and Javier Baez both struck out on very similar breaking balls in the dirt. It was too bad that Soler couldn’t make contact with 1 out, but as much as a hitter is trying to make contact in that situation, the pitcher is also trying his hardest to get a strikeout, which Mark Melancon did. It was still a fun game to watch and the excitement in the park was palpable.
Pedro Strop had some bad luck in his inning of relief today. He struck out the side, including the first hitter he faced, but the final strike got away and Jordy Mercer was able to reach 1st base. He eventually came around to score on a ground out to Castro at short for the 3rd run.
The Cubs will possibly still clinch tonight if the Giants lose to the A’s, but if not they get a chance to control their own destiny tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 PM (CST) on Fox. Jason Hammel (9-6, 3.79) will again look to improve on his 1st inning woes (5.59 ERA in 1st innings in 2015) as he gets the call against Francisco Liriano (11-7, 3.41) for the Pirates.