Lester and Cubs embarrassed at Wrigley Field

by - Correspondent -
Dennis Wierzicki - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – As if getting pounded by the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday wasn’t enough, the Cubs were steamrolled by the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates today, 14-3. Jon Lester (5-6, 4.25 ERA) had the worst start of his career, and put his name in the record books. He is the fourth pitcher in the last 100 years to give up 10+ runs without getting out of the first inning. Not the most positive way to go into the All-Star break.

Although only four of the 10 runs were earned, Lester will remember this as a day to forget. His favorite location to pitch to, the low and outside corner, was hit well by the entire Pirates lineup. Any other time he threw near there the pitches were called balls.

A shortened version of the top of the first looked like this: single, groundout, walk, fielder’s choice with an error, single, double, single with an error, walk, sacrifice bunt, walk, grand slam, solo home run, Mike Montgomery relieves Lester, walk, single, flyout to end the inning.

The Cubs pitching staff continued a trend of having horrible first innings as they have given up 80 runs total in the first inning through the first 88 games this season. It is the highest amount for the Cubs since 1897.

The last time the Cubs gave up 10 runs in the first inning was 1998 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Victor Caratini went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the plate coming off the bench. Those three hits mark the first in his major league career. He had four walks prior to this game. Caratini replaced Willson Contreras behind the dish as Contreras himself relieved Anthony Rizzo at first.

After the break, the Cubs will travel to Baltimore to play the similarly underperforming Orioles for a three-game set. There have been no scheduled probable pitchers at this time.

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