The Cubs have been dealing with early deficits often in recent games and the starting pitching has been subpar as a whole the past two weeks. After a beat down Monday night against the Phillies, Chicago turned the tables Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Once again the Cubs did not escape the 1st inning cleanly. Jon Lester allowed a solo homer to Aaron Altherr to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. Kris Bryant was quick to answer with his own laser to left to tie the score.
Lester had to battle from the start Tuesday night, having runners on in every inning he pitched. He helped his own cause by picking off Altherr trying to steal second in the 3rd inning. The throw was not perfect, but it got to Javy Baez in time.
Speaking of Javy, he put the Cubs back ahead with a long homer (his second in two games) in the bottom of the inning.
Tommy Joseph kept his good series going in the 4th with a game-tying double.
The Cubs finally got to Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson in that same inning. Lester and Baez singled with two outs in the inning. Then Kyle Schwarber, in the midst of a deep slump, leaned on a 2-0 fastball and took it out to right. The three-run shot put the Cubs ahead 5-2.
Bryant tripled and scored on a Ben Zobrist double to make it a four-run inning.
Lester loaded the bases on an error and two walks with one out in the 5th, but only allowed one run to score after a grounder and a strikeout.
Baez continued to dominate the proceedings in his next at-bat. After reliever Mark Leiter (Al Leiter’s nephew) walked Addison Russell and Willson Contreras, Baez laced a two-run triple to right field. The Cubs led the Fightin’ Phils 8-3 after 5 innings.
Baez got a chance to complete the cycle in the 8th, but he had to settle for a boring four-hit game with a single.
Carl Edwards continued to dominate in relief going two scoreless innings and Hector Rondon also pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning. Wade Davis went 1-2-3 in non-save situation to close out the 8-3 win.
Stats That Matter
- Javy Baez had a heck of a game today, going 4-for-4 with a triple, homer, and 3 RBI. Baez has looked lost at the plate early this year, Tuesday may be the start of something.
- Kyle Schwarber was only 1-for-5, but had that big blow. His three-run homer was the deciding factor in the game. I still think he could use a day off, however any positive is much appreciated.
- Jon Lester really had to grind: 5 IP, 3 R. 2 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 5 BB. Five walks are not what you expect to see from Lester, but the bullpen took care of things from there.
After a couple rough games it was good to see the Cubs win. A better sign maybe Javy Baez being locked in at the plate.
Jake Arrieta looks to give the Cubs a little length from the starter Wednesday night. Jerad Eickhoff gets the nod for Philadelphia at 7:05 CT on CSN for TV and 670 the Score for radio.