Cubs Record: 43-18 (1st in NL Central; 9.5 games ahead of St. Louis)
W: Jon Lester (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)
L: John Gant (4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)
MVP: The entire Cubs lineup
It was a warm one today, but that didn’t stop the Cubbie faithful from essentially taking over Turner Field. It’s incredible to see so many Cubs fans at an away game. There were louder cheers for the Cubs good fortunes than Barves good fortunes, and the crowd was rewarded with a great performance from Jon Lester and company. The Cubs exploded for 3 runs in the 7th, and 6(!) in the 8th.
Fun note: the Barves have never won on June 12th at Turner Field. They were 0-4 coming into today’s game. Womp womp.
Lester had some troubles in the 1st inning, and he had to labor through it by throwing 26 pitches, but was lights out after that. This is what we’ve become accustomed to seeing him do ever since that horrible April he had last season. It was great to see him pitch well yet again. He started the day with his earned run average at 2.06, and currently stands at 1.89. Lester’s pretty good, and to this point his contract is looking like highway robbery.
David Ross drove in his 300th run today in the 6th inning and had a good day at the plate overall. He went 2-for-4 along with a bases-loaded walk RBI in the 7th inning.
Anthony Rizzo had a wonderful day at the plate, going 3-for-6 with a run scored and 3 RBI. It seems as though he’s found his stroke again, which is fantastic for the Cubs and scary for the opposition. I’m happy he’s finally hitting again, because it’s difficult to watch him struggle when we all know how great he truly is.
Jason Heyward played extremely well today, and it’s apparent that whatever struggles he had earlier in the season are ending. He went 3-for-4 with 2 walks and 3 runs scored. His at-bats were great, and he made good contact all day long.
Javy Baez also had a strong performance, going 2-for-5 with a homer, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI. His approach at the plate has looked fantastic so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses at the dish through the course of the season.
The Barves as a whole did not do a whole lot, but it’s to be expected because they’re the Barves. Turns out that outburst on Friday was similar to Mobb Deep vs any of the rappers they tried to go against, which is to say they had a good initial showing but proved to be overmatched and outclassed in the end.
The Cubes came out today on defense, committing 4 early errors. Ross made a throwing error while trying to gun down Freddie Freeman at second base on the back end of a double steal. Ross’s throw skipped into center, which led to the Barves scoring their first run of the game. In the 2nd inning Adonis Garcia tapped a weak bouncing ball to Ben Zobrist, who made a casual throw that was wide of first and allowed Garcia to reach second. Ross retrieved the ball and tried to throw Garcia out at second and it sailed into left, which allowed Garcia to reach third base with nobody out. Thankfully, this did not cost the Cubs a run, as Lester did what he usually does in high-pressure situations and didn’t allow any balls in play get out of the infield. Dexter Fowler failed to scoop up a ground ball on a Nick Markakis base hit that costed the Cubs a base in the 4th.
John Gant’s delivery is probably the ugliest one I’ve ever seen. For those of you who didn’t get to see the game and didn’t hear Ron Coomer’s, er, interesting description, Gant starts a windup, stops, then restarts his windup and throws a pitch. This does not happen when there is a runner on base, so it doesn’t result in a balk.
The Cubs head to Washington D.C. Monday to begin a 4-game series against the NL East-leading Nationals. In game 1 of the series Kyle Hendricks (4-5, 2.90 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) will take the bump against Max Scherzer (7-4, 3.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP).