U It’s game 2 of 162 and Jon Lester gets the nod. There’s big expectations for this team, especially the top 3 in this rotation. If you were listening to the Big Jack & I on the podcast, he asked me what I’d like to see out of Lester. Being that #ItsOnlyApril, I’d be happy with him completing 6 innings with a max of 6 hits possibly 2 runs. You’d hope he’d not go passed 100 pitches and get at minimum 5 K’s. Now he ended going a full 7 innings giving up only one run on four hits. He only had four strike outs but walked no one. He ended up only throwing 93 pitches. Very solid outing. At first it appeared, that he might night come out but he was relieved in the eighth by Trevor Cahill, who struck out one in 2/3. Daniel Nava was announced as the pinch hitter, which prompted Maddon to call Travis Wood to the rubber who closed out the eighth inning. Pedro Strop would come into the 9th, striking out Mike Trout, getting Pujols and CJ Cron to ground out to sweep the Angels in this two game series.
As for the lineup, Maddon switched it up for game 2, was he listening to us today? The Big Jacks biggest question was Ben Zobrist in the three hole. He stayed with Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward in the one, two but put Chris Bryant in at three, followed by Zobrist, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Matt Szczur and catching David Ross.
Pitching for the Angels, Andrew Heaney held was able to hold the Cubs to nothing in two innings despite an injury delay due to a bloody nose. But in the top of the third it was Szczur who got things going with a lead off home run. Ross would go on to double and move over to third on a Fowler single to short stop. Heyward would ground into a force out at second but scoring Ross. Bryant’s fly ball to left would advance Heyward but it was Anthony Rizzo’s brute strength that would score Heyward on 400 foot home run to dead center.
In the 7th inning Mike Scioscia, would bring in 24 year old, right handed Mike Morin to face Matt Szczur who reached on a soft liner to Mike Trout. David Ross would like out to Trout but it was Dexter Fowlers line drive home run to right that would bring Szczur home and secure the Cubs lead at 6-1. After that, the Angels bullpen would hold the Cubs from creating anymore damage.
The Cubs were able to stop the Angels biggest stars combined Albert Pujols & Mike Trout went 0 for 15 with 5 strike outs. I think someone needs to remind the Angels that spring training is over…sorry had to steal that line! Overall I think we will start to see the Cubs settle into a groove over the next month. Last night we saw three less strikeouts but Schwarber wasn’t in the line up, which may have given them one or two more but with I’m sure with one bomb, but Szczur filled that spot. I still think down the line pitching may be an issue which is why I’d love to see Soler perform better than 1-8. I believe that if he’s able to get going he would be the guy to bring back some value by the trade deadline. Hence why Maddon is going to do what he has to, to get him the lineup. Just hoping he doesn’t lose his value like Javier Baez has done.
Game 2 and the Cuns and Pirates are tied for 1st but like I said earlier #ItsOnlyApril