Big Jon's ERA Stays Small, Happ Makes a Fan Happy, How You Trade a Player, and Other Bullets

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Big Jon’s ERA Stays Small, Happ Makes a Fan Happy, How You Trade a Player, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Super late night + no sleep + site issues + limited staff + sinus pain = still pretty happy. Thanks for that, Javy.

  • And thank you, Jon Lester. Just a week after facing these same Dodgers and getting as knocked around as you can possibly get in a game in which you don’t allow, you know, runs, Lester kept the Dodgers even more off-balance this time around, yielding just three hard-hit balls (95+ mph exit velocity), and getting plenty of soft contact. His ERA is just 2.18, trailing only Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer among qualifiers in the NL.
  • Also, Brooks has Lester sitting at 92.5 mph with both of his fastballs last night, which is very nice to see. That’s about a mile better than he’s been most of this year, and it’s right in that range where it can make a huge difference in results.
  • Ever the competitor, Lester wasn’t keen on being pulled after five innings last night, because he came into the game wanting to give the Cubs innings (Tribune). But, given the state of the game, the fact that he threw 119 pitches his last time out, and the depth that had arrived in the bullpen (even though key pieces are missing), I was fine with Joe Maddon pulling Lester when he did.
  • Lester got to show off a decent outing for a friend, too, because apparently John Lackey was in attendance last night. As of this writing, no one was hurt.
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
  • With last night’s win, the Cubs now need to win just one of these two other games to split this series, and head back home with a much better feeling. When you’re on the West Coast, playing the hottest team in the league, facing four consecutive starting pitchers with ridiculous numbers, and you manage a split in four games? Don’t let that sound defeatist to you. That’s a very good outcome.
  • … of course, if the Cubs were to happen to win both of the remaining two games, well, then I’ll just have to do some headstands while chugging a beer in celebration.
  • Ian Happ made a fantastic catch last night in the 9th inning, going into the stands:

  • The best part of the catch, though, was the Cubs fan who came sprinting over so that he could clap right next to Happ and Baez, exactly as he should:

  • This anecdote about how trades play out is incredible:

  • I remember how that all played out, including everyone’s speculation at the time that a big part of the reason Hammel was pulled early that day was to protect him against injury. So it’s funny to know what he was thinking at the time, and how Epstein had to totally shift gears on him. That’s gotta be such a weird phone call to have to make.
  • Javy Baez really does deserve to be an All-Star:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.