Later today, the Cubs will deploy their predominantly right-handed lineup against the Colorado Rockies, as they look to win their fifth straight game.
Given the way the offense was somewhat tamed over the weekend (despite four straight wins, they scored just nine total runs), your hope is that Jon Lester continues to dominant stretch of starting pitching (which includes a quality start from Lester).
As we discussed in the series preview, however, that quality start was far from perfect:
Cubs Pitcher: Although Jon Lester’s last appearance was a quality start, he didn’t generate nearly enough ground balls or weak contact, while allowing way too many fly balls and too much hard contact. I was glad to see him put two solid starts back-to-back, but he’ll need to improve a bit over his last one for me to feel better about his start of the season.
Two starts ago, however, Lester did manage to go 6.0 full innings, yielding just one run (unearned) on two hits, and a walk against seven strikeouts. Now that’s a start.
As for Kyle Freeland, we discussed his fairly notable lefty/righty splits already, so let’s stick with his recent performances. After a couple of short, unproductive outings in Washington and Pittsburgh (combined 8.2 IP, 10H, 6ER, 5BB, 6Ks), Freeland bounced back big against the Padres his last time out: 7.0 IP, 3H, 0ER, 2BB, 8Ks. That start was good for a 78 game score, which is his best this season and the second highest of his career. Hopefully, the Cubs can help get back off track.
It’s a beautiful day to be at Wrigley. I hope you’re going.
Colorado Rockies (15-14) at Chicago Cubs (15-10) – 6:05 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, ESPN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 3.29 ERA, 4.79 FIP; 2.20 K/BB
Rockies: Kyle Freeland (L): 4.33 ERA, 4.96 FIP; 2.27 K/BB
Colorado Rockies Lineup:
- Ian Desmond, 1B
- Charlie Blackmon, CF
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Trevor Story, SS
- Chris Iannetta, C
- Gerardo Parra, LF
- Noel Cuevas, RF
- Pat Valaika, 2B
- Kyle Freeland, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jon Lester, P