Cubs Record: 27-8 (1st Place NL Central)
W: Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29)
L: Jeff Locke (1-3, 5.45)
MVP: Jake Arrieta: 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 11 SO, 2 BB
Happy Jake Day! For the most part, Jake Arrieta was Jake Arrieta-esque in helping the Chicago Cubs cruise to an 8-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Neither team did much until the 4th inning, when Arrieta gave up a double to the dangerous Andrew McCutchen and a single to Gregory Polanco. This set it up for a Francisco Cervelli two-run single. Arrieta looked a little shaky, but he was bailed out by an inning-ending double play. After that frame, however, Arrieta settled down and did not give up another hit.
The Cubs answered right back in the bottom of the inning. Jason Heyward led off with an infield single, followed by a Kris Bryant walk. Anthony Rizzo then smacked a three-run home run, putting the Cubs on top 3-2. They would add some insurance runs to their lead in the 6th inning with an Addison Russell two-run home run and a bloop RBI single by Dexter Fowler to push the lead to 6-2.
Bryant and Rizzo each had an RBI single in the 8th inning that put the Cubs on top 8-2 and Justin Grimm shut down the Pirates in the 9th to solidify the Cubs 8-2 win.
The Cubs offense was relentless yet again. Their 8 RBI’s came from four different players (Rizzo, Russell, Fowler, and Bryant) and they continue to be dominant up and down the lineup. Worth noting, Heyward went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, bringing his average up to .236. Russell homered for the second day in a row, blasting a two-run shot in the 6th. Miguel Montero made his return from the DL and went 0-for-3, but it was good to see him back out there.
Arrieta fun fact of the day: Cubs have won the last 21 regular season games he’s started.
The top of the 4th inning was bad for Arrieta. Of course, bad for Arrieta is still not horrible. He gave up 3 hits, threw a wild pitch, and hit one batter (Jung Ho Kang). He managed to only give up two runs thanks to an inning-ending double play.
The Pirates have an ugly record of 0-5 against the Cubs this season, none of which have been decided by less than 4 runs. That is a beautiful sight for Cub fans.
The Cubs look to Jon Lester (4-1, 1.96 ERA) for the series sweep against their division foes tomorrow at 1:20 CST. Lester will face the Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, who is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA. Lester gave up 3 runs in 6 innings in his last start, so hopefully he can improve upon that tomorrow.