CUBS WIN! … But it wasn’t all good news. Indeed, there were plenty of things I didn’t like about being a Cubs fan today.
For example …
- Jon Lester scratched with an illness
- Anthony Rizzo’s weird ejection
- Kris Bryant’s removal from the game
- The fact that the Cubs were battling to avoid a sweep against a (recently) .500 baseball team at a critical time of the year
But fortunately, there was also plenty to like.
For example …
- Addison Russell was finally sent to Triple-A to figure things out
- Willson Contreras was activated from the Injured List
- And, you know, the Cubs won!
And to that last one … woot! I needed that. After dropping two close ones in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday, the Cubs won on the strength of 11 hits today, with multi-hit performances from Albert Almora Jr. (who joined the double-digit HR club), Javy Baez (who knocked his 25th of the season and added a double (should have been a triple)), and Robel Garcia, who continues to earn his time at second base.
Other offensive performances of note include Willson Contreras’ 1-4 return to the lineup and Kris Bryant’s 21st home run of the year. The 10-1 K/BB ratio aside, it was a fine day for an offense that lost both halves of the Bryzzo Souvenir Company simultaneously.
On the mound, the Cubs were forced to proceed without Jon Lester at the very last moment, but Tyler Chatwood really stepped up with a huge 4.0 IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 5K performance. Actual, final results aside, Chatwood’s walk rate has now drifted down to 12.5%. That’s not particularly great, but it is playable and more or less in line with what he posted during his final season in Colorado. It’s also certainly well-below the unplayable 2018 levels (19.6%). He did well today – in a pinch – and deserves all the love.
Speaking of pitching, we saw Pedro Strop take the 7th tonight (a 1-2-3 inning), with Brandon Kintzler taking over the set-up duties for Craig Kimbrel in the 8th – that may be a bit of the unofficially official change we were hoping to see to the bullpen lineup, but it’s probably too early to tell for sure.
And finally, Kimbrel did allow the game-tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning, but ultimately got the job done for the 7th time as a Cub.
The Cubs have an off-day tomorrow before heading to Milwaukee Friday night, and I’ll be thinking about one thing the entire time …