Posts Tagged ‘Jon Lester’

The top hitter in the American League is:

Mookie Betts (33) of the Boston Red Sox. Betts hit .318 in 158 games with 31 home runs and 113 RBI’s. He had 42 doubles, 5 triples and 26 stolen bases and an OPS of .892.

2nd was Jose Altuve (31) of the Houston Astros. 3rd was David Ortiz (29) of the Boston Red Sox. 4th was Miguel Cabrera (21) of the Detroit Tigers. 5th was Mike Trout (15) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 6th was Robinson Cano (13) of the Seattle Mariners. 7th was Dustin Pedroia (12) of the Boston Red Sox. Adrian Beltre (10) of the Texas Rangers finished 8th and Nelson Cruz (9) of the Seattle Mariners and Mark Trumbo (9) of the Baltimore Orioles tied for the final spot.

The top hitter in the National League is:

Nolan Arenado (34) of the Colorado Rockies. Arenado hit .294 in 160 games with 41 home runs and 133 RBI’s. He had 35 doubles, 6 triples and 2 stolen bases and an OPS of .932

2nd was Kris Bryant (30) of the Chicago Cubs. 3rd was Daniel Murphy (27) of the Washington Nationals. 4th was Anthony Rizzo (20) of the Chicago Cubs. 5th was Charlie Blackmon (18) of the Colorado Rockies. 6th was Joey Votto (14) of the Cincinnati Reds. 7th was D.J. LeMahieu (11) of the Colorado Rockies. 8th was Freddie Freeman (10) of the Atlanta Braves. 9th was Ryan Braun (8) of the Milwaukee Brewers and in 10th was Corey Seager (7) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The top starting pitcher in the American League is:

Rick Porcello (39) of the Boston Red Sox. Porcello was 22-4 in 33 starts with an ERA of 3.15. He had 3 complete games, 223 innings and 189 strikeouts.

2nd was J.A. Happ (33) of the Toronto Blue Jays. There was a tie for 3rd between Justin Verlander (21) of the Detroit Tigers and Aaron Sanchez (21) of the Toronto Blue Jays. There was a 3-way tie for 5th between Corey Kluber (14) of the Cleveland Indians, Masahiro Tanaka (14) of the New York Yankees and Cole Hamels (14) of the Texas Rangers. 8th place went to Chris Sale (11) of the Chicago White Sox. 9th was Danny Duffy (9) of the Kansas City Royals and 10 was Jose Quintana (4) of the Chicago White Sox.

The top starting pitcher in the National League is:

Jon Lester (37) of the Chicago Cubs. Lester was 19-5 in 32 starts with an ERA of 2.44. He had 2 complete games, 202 2/3rd innings and 197 strikeouts.

2nd was Max Schrezer (31) of the Washington Nationals. 3rd was Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs. There was a tie for 4th between teammates as San Francisco Giants Johnny Cueto (19) and Madison Bumgarner (19) took that spot. 6th was Jake Arrieta (16) of the Chicago Cubs. Noah Syndergaard (15) of the New York Mets was 7th. 8th went to Jose Fernandez (9) of the Miami Marlins. In 9th was Kenta Maeda (7) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and in 10th was Tanner Roark (6) of the Washington Nationals.

The top set up man in the American League is:

Nate jones (17 of the Chicago White Sox. Jones appeared in 71 games and recorded 28 holds. He had a 5-3 record with an ERA of 2.29 and picked up 3 saves.

2nd was Kelvin Herrera (14) of the Kansas City Royals. 3rd was Will Harris (13) of the Houston ) )of the was Dellin Betances ( 7) of the New York Yankees and  5th was Jake Diekman (3) of the Texas Rangers.

The top set up man in the National League is:

Addison Reed (21) of the New York Mets. Reed appeared in 80 games and recorded 40 holds. He had a 4-2 record with an ERA of 1.97 and picked up 1 save.

2nd was joe Blanton (15) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 3rd was Kyle Barraclough ((9) of the Miami Marlins. 4th was Neftali Feliz (6) of the Pittsburgh Pirates and 5th went to Felipe Rivero (3) of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The top closer in the American League is:

Zach Britton (21) of the Baltimore Orioles. Britton was 47 out of 47 in saves chances. He was 2-1 with an ERA of 0.54 in 69 games.

2nd was Alex Colome (15) of the Tampa Bay Rays. There was a tie for 3rd between Wade Davis (7) of the Kansas City Royals and San Dyson (7) of the Texas Rangers. 5th went to Francisco Rodriguez (4) of the Detroit Tigers.

The top closer in the National league is:

Mark Melancon (17) of the Washington Nationals/Pittsburgh Pirates. Melancon was 47 for 51 in save chances. He was 2-2 with an ERA of 1.64 in 75 games.

2nd was Kenley Jansen (15) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 3rd was Jeurys Familia (13) of the New York Mets. 4th went to A.J. Ramos (6) of the Miami Marlins and 5th went to Jeanmar Gomez (3) of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The top rookie hitter in the American League is:

Gary Sanchez (19) of the New York Yankees. Sanchez hit .299 with 20 home runs and 42 RBI’s in 53 games. He added 12 doubles a stolen base and an OPS of 1.032.

2nd was Nomar Mazara (14) of the Texas Rangers. 3rd was Tyler Naquin (11) of the Cleveland Indians. 4th was Ryon Healy (7) of the Oakland A’s and 5th went to Tim Anderson (3) of the Chicago White Sox.

The top rookie hitter in the National League is:

Corey Seager (16) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seager hit .309 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI’s in 157 games. He added 40 doubles, 5 triples and 3 stolen bases with an OPS of .877.

2nd was Trevor Story (15) of the Colorado Rockies. 3rd was Aledmys Diaz (9) of the St. Louis Cardinals. There was a tie for 4th between Brandon Drury (7) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals.

The top rookie pitcher in the American League is:

Michael Fulmer (21) of the Detroit Tigers. Fulmer started 26 games and had a record of 11-7 with an ERA of 3.06. He had 1 shutout and 1 complete game and totaled 132 strikeouts in 159 innings.

2nd was Tony Barnette (12) of the Texas Rangers. 3rd was Chris Devenski (10) of the Houston Astros. 4th went to Ryan Dull (6) of the Oakland A’s while 5th went to Edwin Diaz (5) of the Seattle Mariners.

The top rookie pitcher in the National League is:

Seung Hwan Oh (17) of the St. Louis Cardinals. Oh had 19 saves in 23 chances. He pitched in 76 games and had a record of 6-3 with an ERA of 1.92. Oh recorded 103 strikeouts in 79 2/3rd innings.

There was a tie for 2nd between Kenta Maeda ( 13) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Junior Guerra (13) of the Milwaukee Brewers. 4th went to Kyle Barraclough (5) of the Miami Marlins and 5th went to Ryan Buchter (4) of the San Diego Padres.


Wrapping up the series against the Brew Crew, Jon Lester heads to the mound searching for his 11th win of the season.  He will be seeing the Brewers for the first time this season and with the directions both teams are going, this could be a positive for Jon as he takes on Junior Guerra who received a win in May against the Cubs giving up only three runs on five hits but saw Dexter Fowler leading off with a home run.

Lester doesn’t start off great by walking Jonathan Villar, who then steals second and third base and then scores on Hernan Perez’s sac fly to left field.  Lester would then give up three singles in a row to Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter.  It would be Carter’s single that gives the Brewers their second run of the game.  

The second inning would be peculiar in that Lester strike outs three batters but a passed ball allows Villar to reach first and a wild pitch would allow Braun to reach on their strike outs.  He gets out the second and makes it a quick third by retiring all three batters in a row.  Despite giving up a walk to Jake Elmore in he bottom of the 4th, he gets caught stealing and strikes out the following two batters almost like it did in the bottom of the 3rd.  

Lester would start the 5th off by loading the bases with two walks and a double and that would be enough for Maddon as he brings Justin Grimm into the game and strikes out the first batter he sees for the first out of the inning.  Scooter Gennett would send a ground ball to left field adding two runs to the board scoring Bruan and Perez.  Grimm does get out of the inning without adding any more runs.  

The Cubs would be held to seven base runners through five innings that would not cross home plate.  The top of the 6th would see Kris Bryant leading off with a single and advancing to second on a fielding error by Scooter Gennett allowing Anthony Rizzo to reach first base.  Ben Zobrist sends a ground ball to right scoring Bryant but that would be all the runs for the Cubs.  

The bottom of the 6th would allow us to finally see Joe Nathan since his signing that placed him immediately on the disabled list.  He enters the game giving up a a monstrous triple to Jonathan Villar and then walks Hernan Perez who steals second base.  He gets his first out by striking out Ryan Braun, then Lucroy and Chris Carter.  It started out shaking but he calmed down and took control of the game.  

Junior Guerra would get the first batter of the 7th out but gets pulled from the game for Will Smith who gives up a single to Miguel Montero.  Matt Szczur reaches first on a fielding error by Jake Elmore at third.  Tommy La Stella would send a line drive to right field scoring Montero.  The Brewers then decide to intentionally walk Bryant.  Rizzo steps to the plate and clears the bases with a three RBI double to center.  This prompts the Brewers to change pitchers and bring in Tyler Thornburg.  Zo gets a single driving in Rizzo but is caught stealing second in a strike’em out throw’em out with Wilson Comtreras at the plate to end the inning.  Cubs 6, Brewers 4. 

Travis Wood enters in the bottom of the 7th getting the first out but walks Kirk and gives up a double to Elmore but strikes out Andy Wilkins and gets out of the inning by getting Villar to strike out.  

Pedro Strop enters the bottom of the 8th mowing through the heart of the Brewers line up.  

Blaine Boyer made it a quick top of the 8th.  The top of the 9th would see Szczur leading off with a single but gets caught stealing second.  He walks Fowler but Bryant strikes out for the second out of the inning and Rizzo grounds into a force out to end the inning.  

Hector Rondon comes into the game for the save opportunity and starts off striking out the first batter, gets the second batter to ground out but gives up a home run to Kirk.  Now with one run seperating the two teams Elmore steps into the box.  Rondon is able to catch Jake looking to end the game.  

Dan the Man

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The All Star Break was exactly what the Cubs needed as they opened up taking two of three from the Texas Rangers.  Jon Lester needed the break big time and with a 7 – 5 record, and a 3.38 ERA he seemed to need a small break also.   Lester is  seeking his 10th win of the season.  

Lester would go 6 full innings without giving uo a run.  The top of the 7th would see Wilmer Flores leadoff with his ninth home run of the year.  Lester would get the first two outs in the top of the 8th but gives up a single to Curtis Granderson.  That would be enough for Joel Maddon as he brings in Pedro Strop who immediately hits Yoenis Cespedes but Strop would end the inning striking out Neil Walker.  

The Cubs bats would turn it up quickly.  Javier Baez would send a line drive to left for a single and steals second base.  Kris Bryant reaches first getting hit by Steven Matz.  With one out and two men on, Anthony Rizzo steps in the gets into a 2-2 count, Matz serves a fastball belt high and Rizzo takes him to right center for a three-run home run.  

The Cubs grab a couple base runners but it would be Matt Szczur’s double that leads off the top of the 6th that gets Matz pulled from the game for Seth Lugo.  Almora would push Matt to third and it would be David Ross’s fly ball to center that scores Matt putting the Cubs up by 4.  

Seth Lugo would pitch two innings not allowing a base runner.  Erik Goeddel would enter the bottom of the 8th striking out Wilson Contreras and Addison Russell.  Matt Szczur would knock his second double of the game and would be driven in this time by Almora on his single to center but an error by Cespedes would put Almora on third.  Ross ends the inning with a fly ball.  

Carl Edwards Jr would enter the game getting the first out but gives up back to back singles that takes him out of the game for Hector Rondon.  With one out and two men on, Travis d’Arnaud steps into the box grounding into a game ending double play to put another W in the column for the Cubs and a much needed win against the Mets.  

Go Cubs Go!

Dan The Man

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The Cubs have just dropped five games and the first the series against division rival Pittsburgh Pirates.  Jon Lester gets the nod looking for his first win since June 18th with the Pirates in Chicago.  He’s also looking to have a better start since July 3 when he only went 1 & 1/3 innings.   With just his third start for the Bucs, Chad Kuhl is looking for his second win of his young career but it would not start off smoothly with a one out walk to Kris Bryant who would score on Ben Zobrist putting the Cubs up by 2 in the first.  

Lester would get through the the 1st with a walk to David Freese but gets out of it quick with a ground out double play.  He would then start the 2cd off with a walk to Jung Ho Kang, then a single to Starling Marte, then another walk to Sean Rodriguez.  He give the Bucs their first run by hitting Josh Harrison.  Eric Fryer would send a fly ball to center, scored as a sac fly scoring Marte.  With Kuhl in the box, Wilson Contreras would attempt a pick off a throwin error would allow Sean to score the third run of the inning, Bucs up by 1.  

Anthony Rizzo starts off the 3rd with a triple.  Wilson would make up for the run he gave to the Bucs by driving Rizzo home on a ground ball between short and third.  Jason Heyward bumps him up to second as he singles to left.  With an early pitching change, Juan Nicasio enters the game and it would be Javier Baez with two outs drives in Wilson to take the lead by 1.  

Lester starts the 3rd off by giving up a lead off home run to Andrew McCutchen to tie the game.  Sean Rodriguez with two outs, also smacks a solo shot to left center but he gets out of the inning.  Pirates 5-4.

Juan gives up a leadoff double to Bryant that scores on Rizzo’s line drive double to right.  Arauimedes Caminero would enter the game to close out the top half.  Lester would be pulled for Adam Warren ho gives up a single and a walk and it would be McCuthen’s single that brings in both base runners to put the Bucs up by 2.  

Caminero strikes out the side in the 5th.  In the bottom half, Warren would load the bases walking Marte, intentionally walking Matt Joyce and a single to Eric Fryer.  Josh Bell Would enter the game pinch hitting for Caminero.  On a 1-1 count, Bell would take Warren out of the park and into the Alleghany River for a Grand Slam for his first major league home run.  Jody Mercer would follow with a solo shot to add to the lead, 12-5 Bucs.  

A.J. Schugel would enter the game waking Bryant who advances to third on Rizzo’s single and scores on Zo’s double play ground ball. Bucs 12-6.  

Spencer Patton, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon each take an inning each seeing three batters with Rondon striking out the side.  

The Cubs would get a base runner in each of the last three innings but no one crosses the plate or brings them within reach to winning.  The Pirates move to second place putting themselves within 6.5 games.  The Cubs need a W on Sunday and to be honest, need the All Star break off to gather themselves but maybe the festivities can be a good change of pace for them breaking up the recent string of losses this month.   

Go Cubs Go!

Dan the Man

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The Cubs took the previous game and hope to rake game two from the Reds to break thier recent skid.  John Lackey looking to get win number 10 of the season against John Lamb hoping to get his second win. 

Lester gets immediate help with Ben Zobrist starting the game off with his 10th home run of the season.  After that Lamb would keep the Cubs bats quiet adding a couple base runners but no runs until the 5th when Matt Szczur would lead off with a double and helping his cause, Lester drives him in on a single to center.  Cubs up by 2.  

Lester would put together a great performance through 7 innings giving up 1 hit, walking 1 and hitting 1 but with one out in the bottom of the 8th, he give Billy Hamilton his 3rd home run of the year.  Cubs 2, Reds 1.  

Hector Rendon replaced Lester in the bottom of the 8th for 1 out and stays in for the 9th and he starts it off well with an out but hits Brandon Phillips and gives up a single to Jay Bruce.  He gets the second out but gives up another single to Eugenio Suarez who brings in Phillips to tie the game.  

We head to extra innings!  Fast forward to the 15th, J.J. Hoover in for the Reds, walks Zo who moves to third on Jason Heyward’s single to right.  Kris Bryant drives him in on his single to left.  The Reds decide to put Rizzo on to load the bases for pinch hitter Jason Hammel, who forces out Heyward at home but makes it to first.  With two outs and bases loaded Javier Baez, gets into a pitcher’s count but takes Hoover deep to straight away center for a grand slam to put the Cubs up 7-2.  Hoover gets out of the inning but is on the hook for the loss.  

After Rondon is credited with a blown save, the Cubs would use Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards, Jr, Trevor Cahill, Joel Peralta, Spencer Patton and Travis Wood through 15 who combine for 9 K’s and 3 hits but no walks with only Trevor and Travis giving up hits.  The bullpen holds it together and Spencer gets his first W as a Cub.   

Late night just means early day tomorrow for the Cubs and Reds, it shouldn’t affect them because we’re looking for the sweep!

Go Cubs Go!

Dan the Man

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Cubs head south to start the summer.  Jon Lester is on the mound taking on Wei-Yin Chen.  Lester is looking for win number 10 in his first meeting in Miami.

Lester would make it through three innings without any damage.  The fourth inning he would give up the first hit as a single but it would be Giancarlo Stanton’s solo home run for the first run.  He’d give up another solo shot in the sixth to Marcell Ozuna for the second run.  He’d only give up those 2 runs through 7 innings averaging 7 K’s per inning.

The Cubs would strike first in the 4th with a single by Jason Heyward that brought him to third on a fielding error.  Kris Bryant would drive him in a sac fly to left.  The Northsiders wouldn’t grab another run until the top of the 8th when David Ross would launch his 8th home run of the season tieing the game st 2 which should lead us to extra innings.

Pedro Strop enters the game in the 8th getting the first out but gives up a walk to Christian Yelich who scores on Stanton’s ground ball to right.  J.T. Realmuto would drive in Stanton to put the Marlins up by 2. Strop gets out of the inning without any further damage but ends up with a loss as the Cubs couldn’t rebound in the top of the ninth.

Thats four in a row, the bats are on a break but we still have time.

Go Cubs Go!

 Dan the Man

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Game 2 of the 9 game road trip for out East started in Philly with Jon Lester going up against Adam Morgan.  Dexter Fowler is the first one to see Morgan and sends a line drive to left field for a lead off double, making that his 16th of the year.  Heyward would pop out for the firs.  Up next is Kris Bryant sends a 3-1 pitch deep to right field what appears to be a Home Run but is in the field of play making it a triple.  The play would be looked at and overturned due to fan interference scoring it as a double but would still get the RBI.  Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler would hit back to back singles to load the bases but Morgan would strike out Baez and Russell.  Lester would come out in the bottom half and Ceasar Hernandez would challenge Lester with a bunt but David Ross would pick it up and throw him out.  Freddy Galvis would strike out and Tommy Joseph would fly out to end the inning.

Morgan would have somewhat of a better second inning but he’d give up a single to Fowler and hit Heyward but get out of the inning with out adding any runs.  Lester would give up a lead off single to Maikel Franco but would double him up with Cameron Rupp at the plate for the old strike’em out, throw’em out double play.  Lester would then give up back to back singles to Goeddel and Bourjos but get Jimmy Paredes to fly out to left to end the inning.  Jorge Soler would get the only hit of the top half of the third but would suffer the old hamstring issue and be replaced by Matt Szczur.  Morgan gets Baez and Russell to fly out to end the top half of the third.  Lester comes in and gets a ground out and two strikeouts to end the inning.

In the top of the 4th with one out, Lester steps in the box and sends a line drive to right field for his second double of the season and would remain there until with two outs , Jason Heyward cranks his third home run of the season to right field.  Bryant flies out to end the inning but the Cubs are up 3-0.  Jon would continue the fourth with a strike out, fly out and groundout.  Morgan eases down a bit and throws his first perfect inning.  Lester would almost exactly mirror the 1-2-3 inning that Morgan had. The top of the sixth is another 1-2-3 inning for Morgan and would be his last as he is pulled for a pinch hitter, Cody Asche, who would strikeout to start the inning.  Lester would get a line out and another strikeout to end the sixth.

Elvis Araujo enters the game for the Phills givin up a lead off single to Fowler but gets Heyward to line out.  Kris Bryant gets a single sending Fowler to third.  Rizzo would send one to the opposite field for a single that would score Fowler adding to the Cubs lead.  Matt Szczur would step into the box and lay down a bunt, which was scored as a sac bunt, but what still confuses me, is that he reached first base with out being tagged out; hence he did not sacrifice an out for a run.  Baez and Russell would continue their in game streak of ending the inning with the last two outs.  Lester would give up a single to start the inning but gets Franco to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.  Rupp flys out to end the inning.

Andrew Bailey enters the 8th getting the first two batters out, hits Fowler, but gets Heyward to ground out to the first baseman.  Lester remains in the game just dominating the Phillies getting another 1-2-3inning.  We go into the ninth with the Cubs looking to add to their lead.

Brett Oberholtzer comes into the top of the ninth to hold the Cubs to 5 but gives up a lead off double left-center that just misses being a home run.  Rizzo sends a line drive single just out of the reach for the shortstop scoring Bryant.  Szczur would fly out to right for the first out.  Baez really trying to get his first hit of the game strikes out losing his bat just into right field.  Russell would fly out to right to end the ninth.  Justin Grimm comes into the bottom half of the ninth to finish the game for Lester giving up a lead off single to Andres Blanco, pinch hitting for Brett.  Hernandez sends a slow bouncer to Rizzo which should have been the first out but with his speed, he turns it into a single.  Two on, no outs Freddy Galvis swings on the first pitch sending high and deep to right field for his sixth home run of the season, prompting Maddon (the look on his face) regretting pulling Lester but forcing him to bring in Hector Rondon for the now save situation.  Tommy Joseph would send one deep to center field just over Fowler’s head his 5th home run of the season.  Rondon strikes out Rupp for the second out of the inning.  Odubel Herrera would swing on the first pitch sending a bloop single just into left field for a single.  Ryan Howard would enter the game pinch hitting for Bourjos.  Howard swings on the first pitch pulling a line ground ball straight to Rizzo, he would tag first base to end the game.  Cubs bullpen almost blows the game but they win 6-5 putting them 10 games ahead of the Pirates in the standings.


The Podcast

Game 3 of the four game home stand against the Dodogers.  Jon Lester takes on Mike Bolsinger.  It would start off pretty rough for Lester giving up a leadoff home run to Enrique Hernandez.  He’d get Justin Turner to strikeout but would give up a single to Corey Seagar.  That would be all the action in the first as he’d get the next two batters to ground out.  Bolsinger would put Dexter Fowler on by hitting him and then adding Jason Heyward to first with a walk.   

Lester’s second inning would be a turkey, striking out all three batters.  Mike would get the first out but hits Javier Baez who snags his third stolen base of the season.   Lester would have another perfect inning in the top of the third.  

Fowler would lead off the bottom half of the third with his second walk of the day.  With one out, Fowler would score on Kris Bryant’s 12th home run of the season.  That would be all the scoring in the bottom half of the third for the Cubs.  Lester would continue his perfect inning streak but with two outs gives up a double to Trace Thompson who wouldn’t score as Lester gets Joc Pederson to ground out.  Bolsinger would score his first perfect inning of the game.  A J Ellis would see the only hit as a single in the fifth.  

Lester would continue to contain the Dodgers in the sixth as Dave Roberts brings in Pedro Baez to keep the Cubs at bay.  Neither men would allow a batter in the seventh.  Lester comes back out for the eighth inning continuing to shut down the Dodgers.  Casey Fien would replace Baez and give up a two out single to Heyward but wouldn’t give up any insurance runs for the Cubs.  

Lester comes back out for the ninth getting the first two batters out.  Howie Kendrick with a pitchers count, 1-2 swings for the fences on a high fast ball only to go down swinging giving Jon his 13th complete game of his career.  

Jon goes nine innings giving up only 1 run, 4 hits.  He would not give up a walk but strikes out 10 batters.   This gives the bullpen son much needed rest but it also shows that Lester still has it.  It’s June and the Cubs are still at the top.  Octobers right around the corner! 

The Podcast

An Afternoon W

Posted: May 27, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in sports
Tags: , , , ,

The Cubs are back home after a day off to take on the Philadelphia Phillies and pitcher Adam Morgan.  Jon Lester would make it a quick first half but not Morgan.  He’d give up a one out double to Ben Zobrist who would score the first run of the on Jorge Solers’s two out single to left. The Phills would give Lester a little trouble with two singles in the second but not enough to produce any runs.  Morgan would have a 1-2-3 second.  

Lester would give up give up a leadoff single in the third to Peter Bourjos.  He would move to third on Freddy Galvis’s fly ball to Dexter Fowler that is dropped and scored as an error.  Bourjos would tie the game on Maikel Franco’s sac fly to right.  Ben Zobrist would be the only one to reach a base in the bottom half of the third. 

Lester would give up one hit in the fourth to Tyler Goeddel.  Jorge Soler would lead off the fourth with a solo home run to left center.  With one out Addison Russell would walk and Javier Baez would single.  With a 1-0 count David Ross would get one tossed to him launching his 100th career home run.  With two outs, Dexter Fowler would triple but wouldn’t cross the plate.  Cubs are now up 5-1. 

Lester would give up a single and a walk in the top of the 5th but no runs would cross the plate.  With Morgan still in the game, Kris Bryant would lead off with his 11th single.  Andrew Bailey would enter the game getting the next three batters out.  Cubs up 6-1. 

The sixth inning would see Lester giving up a walk but no hits or runs.  Brett Oberholtz would come in for the Phillies, giving up a lead off single to Baez but after Ross’s strikeout, Lester would end the inning with a 1-6-3 double play.  

The seventh inning would be all for Leater after one out and a double to Odubel Hererra.  Trevor Cahill would come in and give up s single to Galvis then to Franco scoring Herrera.  Colton Murray comes into the game giving up a walk to Bryant but no additional runs.  

The eight inning would go by pretty quickly for both pitchers.  Hector Rondon comes into the 9th giving up a single but ending the game with 3-6-1 double play.  

It was a great outing by Lester sand the bullpen to continue thier winning streak.  Go Cubs Go!

The Pocast

The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs have split the first two games of their May series, with the rubber match set for Sunday at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner will oppose Kyle Hendricks for the series win and bragging rights for the next three months, until the two teams meet again the first three days of September.

The series thus far represents the best argument that the National League can present for avoiding the designated hitter. Not only did Jake Arrieta single in the first run of the Cubs’ 8-1 win on Friday night, Matt Cain doubled in the first two runs on Saturday night, en route to a 5-3 Giants win.
Cain’s hit was the first for him in 46 plate appearances, but Giants pitchers overall have thirteen runs batted in, leading the Cubs in this department by four runs. In comparison the last-place Atlanta Braves have had two RBIs contributed by pitchers.

That helps explain why both the Cubs and Giants occupy first place in their respective divisions, and is not so much a diss on Atlanta. The reality is that pitchers are not traditionally expected to do anything beyond pitch; some managers will not even allow their pitchers to either swing a bat, or run out a ground ball.

In assessing the upcoming series Friday afternoon, prior to the start of the first game, I pointed out to Big Jack on SportsTimeRadio that the pitching matchups that were in place would never be duplicated during a playoff run. Jake Peavy versus Jake Arrieta? I don’t think so.
Matt Cain versus Jon Lester? This is not much better but the Giants were able to rise to the occasion and get to Lester early. These lopsided pairings do provide some entertaining outcomes, but there is simply too much on the table during the playoffs to allow them.

To a certain extent, Kyle Hendricks opposing Madison Bumgarner is a similar David/Goliath confrontation, with MadBum having won his last four starts, while Hendricks is 1-3 in his last six. To his credit Hendricks has a 2.74 ERA during the stretch and has allowed only two home runs all season.
Because I have been promoting the notion that the Cubs and Giants are destined to meet in October, I am more apt to think in terms of the big picture. Realistically, Arrieta is on another plane, with his string of 22 consecutive [regular season] starts, allowing three runs or less.

The run is impressive from so many different perspectives, it boggles the mind. That being said, it must also be pointed out that the playoffs cannot be compared to the regular season, because Jake the Great will not face Jake the Terrible, as he did Friday night.

No, Jake the Great will oppose MadBum, if there is any possible way that Bruce Bochy can make it happen. Johnny Cueto will face Jon Lester and oh yeah, there’s that Jeff Samardzija guy probably going up against Jason Hammel. That way, with the pitching more equitable, other components of the game will have to determine the outcome.

Both Chicago and San Francisco have impressive defensive numbers, with the Giants having committed a total of 19 errors for the season, while the Cubs have racked up 23. Neither team has been assessed an error during the current series.

Everything being magnified during October, it could be a Brandon Crawford/Addison Russell gem, or a player-yet-to-be-determined’s error that hands the victory to Arrieta or Bumgarner.

There is no way to quantify experience, except to count the number of championship rings that the individual players wear. Those who have spent more time under the magnifying glass that is October, will be better prepared to handle the pressure.
I am not one to make bold predictions; I told Dan that I did not see a sweep in store for the current series but that on paper the Cubs were clear favorites. They have an astonishing road record of 15-6.

I said that if the Giants could bag one of the first two games, by any means possible, they would stand a good chance of being able to take the series. I would not have thought that Lester would prove to be the weak link, but it is immaterial. It only takes one.  Jake Peavy is the Giants’ weak link.

Sunday night, once more on national television, we will get to see the finale. I might be inclined to give the nod to San Francisco but recent history suggests I not.

Kyle Hendricks is said to have gathered up a whole slew of stones to go with his sling, so maybe I’ll just hold off on the prediction and say,