John Lackey allowed a first inning run on a dribbler and a double, and, with Chris Sale on the other side of the bump, I was a little nervous. Naturally, one run shouldn’t be enough to win, even against Sale, but I wondered if he was gonna come out with a vengeance after his suspension. He didn’t really. The Cubs didn’t score a ton off of him – though they just missed a couple additional runs – but they made him labor. It’s harder to tell from the bleachers than watching on TV, but my instant reaction was that they had some really good at bats against him all night.
And the two runs the Cubs did manage to score off of Sale (plus the insurance run they added late, after he’d departed) were enough, because Lackey was fantastic, and the Cubs went Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Aroldis Chapman to finish it out, as has been the expectation after the big trade. Interestingly, Joe Maddon elected to bring Chapman in for the final out in the 8th, with the tying run on third, and then finish things out in the 9th.
Good win, good split of the series after dropping the first two in frustrating fashion.