Cubs Week in Review


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Lester got the win vs. the Brewers (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)
Lester got the win vs. the Brewers (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

Starting this regular season, I will be starting a new series for the readers who don’t keep up with the Cubs as in-depth as those of us at CubsHQ. It will be a recap of what happened in the Cubs organization on and off the field from the past week. With the Cubs season having started on Thursday of last week, I will include the Miami series in this weeks article.

March 29th – April 1st:

The Cubs opened up the season with a four-game set in Miami which was split 2-2. The Cubs won the opener by a score of 8-4, highlighted by Ian Happ’s first pitch, leadoff home run. He would end up going 1-for-5 on the game with three strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo also had a heartfelt homer in his homecoming as the Cubs wore Stoneman Douglas shirts in their warm-up along with patches on their uniforms. In a postgame interview, Rizzo called it an “out of body experience.” Kyle Schwarber also homered in the opener. Jon Lester wasn’t himself in his first start of the year pitching only 3.1 innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs.

Game two was a 17 inning marathon highlighted by excellent pitching on both sides. Kyle Hendricks opened up with six innings giving up only one run, followed by Mike Montgomery, Carl Edwards Jr., and Justin Wilson posting 3.2 shutout innings on the mound. While he ended up with the loss, Eddie Butler tossed seven innings in relief giving up only four hits and one run. Kris Bryant also hit his first homerun of the season.

Just a few hours later, the Cubs would retake the field in what ended up being another extra-inning game, this one only going ten innings. We saw the Cubs debut of Yu Darvish, which was eye-opening but not in the right way. He just stayed in the game for 4.1 innings, in which we saw his pitch count soar, and gave up five earned runs. The bullpen held it down, giving up only one more run over the remaining 5.2 innings. Kyle Schwarber homered for the second time this season, and it went a mile. Kris Bryant was the hero of the day, however, hitting a three-run triple in the 10th, giving him four runs on the day and the Cubs the win.

The series finale started off with what seemed like another gem from Jose Quintana. He no-hit the Marlins through four innings and kept them off the board through the 5th inning. In the 6th inning, he unraveled, giving up six earned runs. While the box score shows 0 runs for the Cubs, the offense was there, piling up eight hits, they just weren’t able to push anyone across, leaving a total of 10 men on base, 9 of which were in scoring position.

April 2nd – April 4th:

After splitting the opening series in Miami, the Cubs traveled to Cincinnati for what was scheduled as a two-game series. The opener saw the Cubs debut of Tyler Chatwood. He went six innings, giving up only four hits, and unfortunately the only run of the game. The offense was kept off the board for the second straight night, this time combining for a mere two hits. The second game of two was postponed due to thunderstorms in the area, which has been rescheduled to May 19th at 12:10 p.m. CT which will be the first game of a doubleheader. Following the rain out, the Cubs had a scheduled off day giving them much needed time to refocus, heading into a critical series at Wrigley North in Milwaukee.

April 5th – April 8th:

After two days off, the Cubs started a four-game set in Milwaukee. The Cubs won the opener 8-0, backed by six scoreless innings from ace Jon Lester. While it didn’t count as a hit or an RBI, Lester also drove in Javy Baez from first base. After being held off the board in the previous two games, the Cubs offense came back to life, which was capped off by Jason Heyward’s two-run home run in the 9th inning. In addition to being embarrassed at home, the Brewers also lost all-star closer Corey Knebel to an apparent leg injury in the 9th inning.

The Cubs dropped the second game of four by a score of 5-4 via Orlando Arcia’s walk-off single. The offense looked solid again, highlighted by Javy Baez’s little league home run to tie the game in the 6th inning. Addison Russell and Victor Caratini picked up the other two RBIs on the day. Kyle Hendricks looked solid again going five innings. His performance was overshadowed however by the two, two-run home runs he gave up in the 5th inning. The Cubs bullpen was strong again, giving up only three hits the remainder of the game. Anthony Rizzo missed the game due to back soreness and is currently day to day. He was replaced by Victor Caratini starting at 1st.

Anthony Rizzo has scratched again from the lineup on Saturday in the Cubs 5-2 win over the Brewers. Yu Darvish was phenomenal, giving up only two hits over six innings and piling up 9 K’s on the day. It was a joyous sight for Cubs fans as his first start was less than stellar. Kris Bryant hit his second home run of the year, which would be the only run the Cubs would score before the 9th inning. Zobrist tied the game at 2 with a pinch-hit single, which was followed by Ian Happ’s two-run single to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Jon Lester then came in with a pinch-hit bunt to provide the Cubs with a three-run lead and Lester his first RBI of the season.

The Cubs shutout the Brewers in the series finale by a score of 3-0. Thanks to Jose Quintana’s six innings of 3 hit ball, Wrigley North was plenty loud once again. The bullpen followed in stride giving up no hits over the remaining three innings. Ben Zobrist hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning, which would end up as the game-winning run. Tommy La Stella reached on an error in the 7th inning while pinch-hitting for Q and has a career .429 avg, out of the pinch-hitting spot. Anthony missed his 3rd straight start with lower back pain.

MVP of the week: Kris Bryant – 2 HR, 6 RBI, .324 Avg

Pitcher of the week: Justin Wilson – 5 G, 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 1.06 WHIP

Cubs record: 5-4 overall and 2 games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates (7-2)

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