I am wildly happy about that series split.
I’d be happy about almost any four-game split on the road, but losing the first two games the way the Cubs did – one listless, one blown late – made it feel like a series split would be impossible. But the Cubs stole one last night, and then blew one out tonight. Great series split.
Jon Lester deserves a ton of credit for the way he turned his night around in this one. After battling command troubles, long innings, frequent trouble, and plenty of hard contact through four innings, it looked like Lester’s night might be done. But he was sent out for the fifth inning, and he cruised so quickly and easily that he actually went out and cruised through the sixth inning, too.
Offensively, the Cubs got a smattering of hits and runs up and down the lineup, including a three-hit night from Ian Happ at the top. Every starter (including Lester) had a hit in the game except Kyle Schwarber, who was replaced mid-game by Albert Almora, who himself later homered.
Things got a little hairy there in the 9th, as the Pirates loaded the bases with two outs, but there was to be no drama tonight. Cubs win. Cubs win.