The Chicago Cubs (61-40) look as lethal as ever with Aroldis Chapman waiting in the wings. In the first two months of the season it was hard to imagine how the Cubs could possibly get any better than they were. If it’s any consolation, I think we’ve found the answer.
John Lackey was on point tonight. He gave up only one run on four hits spread out over six innings. The White Sox had runners in scoring position only once, in the sixth inning, after they scored their lone run of the night in the first inning. Lackey was shut-down good, leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory (Box Score).
The Cubs chipped away at Chris Sale all night. A hit here, a walk there, managing only two extra base hits on Sale through six innings. A Kris Bryant double drove in Dexter Fowler in the first inning and a Ben Zobrist single drove in Kris Bryant in the bottom of the third inning. That was enough to secure the Cubs a 2-1 lead as Sale exited the game in the seventh inning.
The Cubs tacked on one more run in the eighth inning before handing the game off to their new found stud, Aroldis Chapman. He came in with two outs in the eighth inning and threw 23 pitches on his way to recording his first save as a Cubs player.
Stats that mattered
- John Lackey is (finally!) back on track – 6.0IP, 1R, 4H, 1BB, 4Ks
- Kris Bryant comes through again – 1-for-3, 1RBI, 1BB, 2B
- Good to see Ben Zobrist back in the mix – 2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI, 2B
Sure, Aroldis Chapman has only been with the Cubs for two games, but the difference in energy is palpable. There is no doubt that things are different in a really good, super cool way for Cubs fans. The last two games are clear proof of that. And it feels darn good.
The Cubs are sticking around Wrigley to take on the Seattle Mariners over the weekend. Jon Lester (10-4, 3.09 ERA) will take the hill for the Cubs at 1:20 PM CDT on Friday.