Cubs Record: 79-45 (1st in the NL Central; 12.5 games ahead of St. Louis)
W: Jon Lester (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)
L: Edwin Jackson (5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)
The Cubs faced off against their former pitcher Monday night, and let him know how much they missed having him around.
Javier Baez tagged Travis Jankowski above the shoulders while he was trying to steal third, but it looked more like Javy punched Jankowski in the face. The dude’s head got slammed to the ground, not such as to be injurious, and I was very entertained. The Cubs have seemed to tag many opposing baserunners in the face recently, all of which have been enjoyable to me. Javy performed well at the dish tonight, too, going 2-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts.
Addison Russell is ungodly good in the field. In the bottom of the 8th inning he made a diving stop on a ground ball that was hit 110 mph off of Wil Myers’ bat, then was able to pick himself up and throw out the runner at first. Russell also hit a solo shot and drove in run on a sacrifice fly, which increased his RBI total to 80. That number is good for 2nd on the team behind Anthony Rizzo.
Jon Lester was dealing today, and he PICKED SOMEBODY OFF. You read that correctly, folks. Jon Lester made a nice throw to Baez at third, catching Wil Myers — who had broken from second — in a rundown. Lester started to give up some hard contact in the 7th with no outs and was promptly pulled after he gave up a second consecutive hit.
Jason Heyward went to Dongtown tonight! I guess those 4 days off helped him. His two-run bomb extended the lead to 5-0 in the 5th inning.
Kris Bryant went deep tonight for the 32nd time this year, which tied him with Nolan Arenado for the National Lead home run title. It was his only hit of the day, but it was a beauty.
Anthony Rizzo went 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored. He increased his batting average to .301 and pulled a little closer to Kris Bryant as the two compete against each other for the NL MVP.
Heyward committed his 1st error tonight. He allowed a ball to bounce in front of him and roll between his legs, which allowed Brett Wallace to reach third. The run did not score, however, because Jon Lester is a beast.
There was nothing in the game that happened that warrants being deemed “ugly.”
Jake Arrieta (15-5, 2.75 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) will take the bump against Christian Friedrich (4-9, 4.69 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) as the Cubs look to win their second game of the series Tuesday night in San Diego. First pitch is at 7:10 local time (9:10 CT). Hopefully the Jake Arrieta Great Again hats in attendance prove to be correct.