Cubs record: 29-11, 1st NL Central, (6.5 games up)
W: Jake Arrieta
L: Jake Peavy
MVP: Jake Arrieta
Another successful Jake Day! The Cubs pounded the Giants 8-1 to take the first game of the series by the Bay, but it wasn’t without consequence (more on that, later). For starters, Arrieta pitched like the ace we know and love, hurling seven innings and allowing one run while striking out eight. He ended up throwing 111 pitches, which is somewhat excessive, but the game wasn’t really out of hand until he was done for the day.
On the flip side, the Cubs’ bats were Peavy’s worst nightmare as he didn’t even make it out of the second inning. The Cubs scored five runs in that frame, three of which came on a K-boom by Bryant. The hitters then went silent until the top of the eighth. Hits sponsored by State Farm came from Ben Zobrist and Jorge Soler, who added some insurance with back-to-back jacks that padded the Cubs’ lead to seven. It was smooth sailing from there.
The Cubs won their 22nd consecutive Arrieta start, which ties them for second in MLB history (Kris Medlen (???) holds the lead with 23). A LOT of that is Jake and his ridiculously good stuff, but the team just seems to focus more when he starts. Arrieta was solid throughout, but the defense and hitting were on point too. There was a base-running gaffe by Arrieta and Fowler that almost curtailed the crooked number in the 2nd, but Bryant eased our fears by smacking that three-run homer and ending all worry. This was a team win and it was a great way to start a tough series after losing two of three to the Brewers.
The teased consequence. Jason Heyward made one of the greatest catches that didn’t involve stealing a home run that I’ve ever seen. In the bottom of the first, he robbed Denard Span of at least a triple with a full-on sprint, diving, super-extended catch where he lost control of his body and crashed to the ground before slamming into the wall near the 421 marker in right field. The Cubs are reporting it as a right torso/abdominal region injury and we will hopefully know more soon. J-Hey writhed on the ground for a bit while holding his side, but eventually walked off under his own power.
There is nothing ugly about a game like this outside of Heyward’s injury.
Jon Lester takes on Matt Cain in a 6:15 CT start as the Cubs look to take the series from the Giants and start a new winning streak. Lester is off to a ridiculously good start and an ERA at 1.88 may mean the Giants are in for a long day at the plate. Cain, on the other hand, just pitched his best game in almost a year against the Diamondbacks last Sunday as he had allowed two runs or more in his last 14-starts before that. He looks to build upon his last outing and shut down the Cubs. While he is a pitcher past his prime, he is capable of putting together a great game and it should be a good Saturday matchup in Cali. Go Cubs.