After an ugly series loss in San Francisco, and the news that Willson Contreras will be out for at least four to six weeks with a strained hamstring, that was a game you went into with a lot of hope. Hope that the Cubs would respond in a way that gives you confidence for the rest of the season, in spite of the struggles (and the ever-charging Cardinals, who’ve won seven in a row).
I don’t think the game could have gone much better in that regard.
Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker was wild from the get-go, and the Cubs graciously accepted two early, free runs, before ultimately building up a 5-2 lead at one point. Paul Goldschmidt got the D-Backs to within two with a homer, because of course, but the Cubs plated three in the 8th to put things away.
John Lackey had good stuff working, and once again gave the Cubs a perfectly solid 5th starter start. The bullpen allowed some baserunners, but not any runs.
Good offensive nights all around, but the back-to-back homers from Kyle Schwarber and Alex Avila really had me feeling good about where the offensive can go even after the loss of Contreras …