I don’t know that you could’ve expected better from the Jon-Lester-Kyle-Schwarber return. Some heartwarming and also funny moments. Schwarber got his dinger. The Cubs’ bats got theirs off of Lester (JHey, Willy, Javy). Nico Hoerner blew our/Andrew Chafin’s mind. Tommy Nance made his 30-year-old prospect debut.
And the Cubs won the game.
That’s just a really good night.
Oh, and about Nance – how good did he look in the 9th? 97 mph with movement, SHARP breaking pitches, and just pumping strikes. Are the Cubs one of those teams that just churns out useful arms now? OK, I’m getting ahead of myself, but when a guy like Nance really pops during the shutdown, it sure makes you wonder. Great night for him.
Adbert Alzolay was not as sharp as we’ve seen him so far this year, with the fastball command only so-so, and the slider placement/movement not quite compelling. He wasn’t BAD or anything like that, but just wasn’t quite at his best. A lineup full of power bats and lefties probably had something to do with it.
Speaking of which, I was fine with Alzolay getting pulled after five, despite the low pitch count. He was facing the third time through the order and an inning with two lefties and a switch-hitter who stinks against lefties. Since Alzolay has been hit a good bit this year by lefties, and since the Cubs have a bullpen full of lefties – one of whom could be deployed in that situation to maximize his value – I didn’t have a problem with it.
Helps that the bullpen did its job, with Rex Brothers coming in and doing his thing, and then Ryan Tepera REALLY looking better and better with each outing.
Great win. Great night. Great reunion.