Cubs Record: 25-6 (1st in NL Central)
W: Lester (4-1, 6 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
L: Vargas (0-2, 4 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K)
SV: Rondon (7)
MVP: Addison Russell (2 H, 3 RBI)
Whew, that was a close one! After game one of Cubs/Padres was rained out Monday, the Cubs scratched out an 8-7 win behind Jon Lester Tuesday night. It wasn’t a pretty win, but as they say “All’s well that ends well!”
Cubs started the scoring early when Addison Russell ripped an RBI double in the 2nd inning scoring Ben Zobrist. Then in the 3rd, Cubs exploded for four runs on five hits and a sacrifice fly. It all started on back-to-back singles by Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward.Both of them scored when Kris Bryant doubled to left.
Bryant advanced to third after Anthony Rizzo grounded out and he then came home on a single by Ben Zobrist. The following batter was Javier Baez, who doubled to push Zobrist to third, allowing him to come home on a sacrifice fly by David Ross and put the Cubs up 5-0 after three.
The Padres got their first run in the 4th on a solo shot by their left fielder, Melvin Upton. The Cubs got that run back in their half of the 4th when Ben Zobrist singled in Jason Heyward. After four innings, Cubs were up 6-1.
That would remain the case until the bottom of the 7th. Anthony Rizzo walked to lead off the inning and that was followed by a Kris Bryant single. One out later, Addison Russell tripled and gave the Cubs two insurance runs and an 8-3 lead.
In the top of 8th, the Padres turned the game into a nail-biter. Justin Grimm was pitching for the Cubs and he found himself in a bases loaded situation with only one out. He was pulled from the game in favor of Adam Warren, who retired the first man he faced on a strikeout.
It got ugly after that, however, when pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson hit a grand slam and made it an 8-7 ballgame. Grimm was charged with runs from the three men he left on base.
The Cubs headed to the 9th with their closer Hector Rondon, or as I like to call him, #RonDONE, on the mound. Rondon hasn’t gotten many save chances this season as the Cubs have scored a lot of runs, but he was needed in this case and there was no room for error. He struck out the first two men he saw, Will Myers and Matt Kemp, leaving the game up to Derek Norris, who was hitless on the day with one walk.
Norris saw only three pitches and grounded out to Addison Russell who tossed it to Anthony Rizzo to seal the deal.
Addison Russell had two hits and 3 RBI today. One of his hits was a triple and Wrigley Field is not an easy park to get triples in. His average is now at .255 and he has a OPS of .766.
Zorilla just keeps on hitting! After a week that included a whopping 15 RBI, not to mention four home runs over three games at one point, he earned himself the National League player of the week award. That continued Tuesday as he went 4-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 more batted in
Hector Rondon hasn’t gotten many save chances this season, but he is a perfect seven out of seven in the chances he has gotten. He has a nasty slider that has induced many strikeouts. We’re not certain how many save chances Hector will get this season, but he’s been great when called upon.
There’s not much bad to be said about either team. They both played good offensively and defensively and made solid contact (all of the runs in the game were earned).
This is of course if you’re a Cubs fan, but Alex Dickerson’s home run was pretty ugly. He drilled a grand slam to right center field in the 8th to put the Padres within one. The Cubs haven’t had many tight finishes, so I’m sure this sent a lot of fans into a frenzy. It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless.
The Cubs play a double header Wednesday, so as the late, great Ernie Banks said, “Let’s play two!” Game one will be at 12:05 Chicago time and it’ll be Colin Rea (2-2 ,3.82 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.10 ERA). John Lackey takes the mound for the Cubs in game two. He is 4-1 with an ERA just over 4 . He will be opposed by Drew Pomeranz who is 3-3 with an ERA of 2.12.
Before I go, I’d like to leave you with one interesting stat. The Cubs are the 4th team to win at least 25 of their first 31 games in the last 70 seasons. The other three teams won the World Series.