Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Fly the W, Lester injured, bullpen impressive, Schwar-Bomb, standings, MLB News

by - Columnist -

Next Game: Wednesday, April 10th, 7:05 PM. Pirates @ Cubs: RHP Jordan Lyles (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (0-1, 8.10 ERA).


Monday’s Game Recap: Desperately searching for a win, the Cubs hosted the Bucs at Wrigley Field Monday afternoon for the Home Opener. The offense was solid, the bullpen was outstanding, and Lester was spot-on, until being injured while running the bases (hamstring tightness). By the time the smoke cleared, the Cubs would emerge as victors by a score of 10-0.

Cue the music:

Offense on fire: The Cubs’ 72 runs are their most in their first ten games of a season since they scored 76 in 1954. It’s the first time in franchise history they’ve scored at least ten runs in five of their first ten games. If they can get the starters to go deeper and the pen to settle down, the Cubs will no-doubt make up the ground that they’ve lost early this season. This is the first shutout win in a home opener since 2009. It is also the first time scoring 10+ runs in a home opener since 1984. First time scoring 10+ runs in first road game AND first home game of a season (1876-present)

Jon Lester: After hitting an RBI double in the second, Lester would slide twice (once into second, once when scoring) and although exciting, it would prove costly. In the top of the third, the Cubs staff noticed something amiss with Lester’s delivery, and after a short mound visit, it was determined that he was suffering from tightness in his left hamstring. Big Jon was subsequently removed in favor of not aggravating the injury. Lester is scheduled to have an MRI today.

Tyler Chatwood: If Jon Lester’s injury is more serious than originally thought, the odds are pretty high that Tyler Chatwood would return to the rotation. Montgomery is currently the only other backup-starter, and he’s currently on the 10-day IL due to a lat strain. Chatwood was impressive during spring training, and he’s done OK this season. In 5.0 innings of work, he’s allowed four earned-runs (7.60 ERA), but for the most part, his control is drastically improved from last season, as indicated by his decrease in walks (4) and his increase in strikeouts (5).

Bullpen finally solid: After Lester was removed, Brad Brach, Brandon Kintzler, Randy Rosario and Pedro Strop combined for 7.0 innings of 4-hit, scoreless pitching, allowing only two walks, while striking out eight.

Schwar-Bomb: Kyle Schwarber did it again: A two-run blast in the fourth, increasing the Cubs lead. This was Kyle’s second dinger of the season.

Only Javy: Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Javier Baez swung at a pitch in the dirt, but rather than missing, Baez threw his bat at the ball, resulting in a bloop single into shallow left. Unbelievable.

Cubs/Pirates Probable Pitchers: Tuesday: Off-day; Wed: RHP Jordan Lyles (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (0-1, 8.10 ERA); Thursday: RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (0-1, 10.29 ERA).

Tom Ricketts Ricketts says that despite the bad start, he still believes in Theo Epstein. About fans clamoring for the Cubs to sign Craig Kimbrel, Ricketts says, “[Kimbrel] Maybe a bigger ticket than we can swing.”

ESPN Power Rankings: After a dismal 2-7 start, the Cubs plummeted in the ESPN Power Rankings, dropping from 6th to 19th (before yesterday's win).

Tommy La Stella: “3-AM” Tommy plays for the Angels now, but he’s still managing to help Chicago. In last night’s game, La Stella’s 2-run homer put the Angels ahead of Milwaukee.

Carl Edwards, Jr.: Carl Edwards Jr. had a good outing with the Iowa Cubs last night: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB. 28 pitches, 19 strikes. One hit was an infield single while the other hit was a slapped single through a shift. Edwards inherited a bases-loaded jam and got out of it.

Cub Birthdays: Birthday wishes (yesterday) to ex-Cubs Lendy Castillo (30), Eric Patterson (36), Álex González (46), and posthumously, Kirby Higbe (104), Henry Lynch (153), and John Peters (169).

NL CENTRAL SCHEDULE (April 7 – April 13, 2019)


MLB News:

Scott Boras: Super-agent, Scott Boras, who invented the term, “swell-opt” has now created another a new phrase to describe team-friendly extensions accepted by young players. “Great young players are getting what I call ‘snuff contracts,’” Boras said. “And a snuff contract is that they’re trying to snuff out the market. They know the player is a great player, and he’s exhibited very little performance. So, they’re coming to him at 20 and 21, and I’m going to snuff out your ability to move, to go anywhere, to do anything, and your value. And I’m going to pay you maybe 40 cents on the dollar to do it. What’s my risk?

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw is expected to make his final rehab-start tomorrow, and if he fares well, he’ll be activated after the outing. Ironically, Hyun-Jin Ryu left the Dodgers/Brewers game early last night with a groin strain, so Kershaw’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for LA.

Rockies: Left-fielder, David Dahl suffered an abdominal injury while swinging in Colorado’s game on Sunday. Dahl is confident that he’ll return soon, but manager Bud Black is being cautious, hoping that this is a “tweak” and not an oblique strain, which would require an IL stint.

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