So that was a good off day.
The Cubs certainly looked refreshed after a successful trip to their most local rivals, and the Diamondbacks looked like mayonnaise left out in the sun. Patrick Corbin didn’t have anything to offer, and the Cubs soundly paddled him all over the Northside to the tune of eight runs (seven earned) in just three innings. There must have been a bet in the D-Backs pen about who could do the best impression of gasoline, because T.J. McFarland and a gaggle of De la Rosas gave up a further eight (six of them charged to McFarland, one unearned, and one to the gaggle). They also tossed in three errors, and not of the oh-that-could-have-been-a-hit-variet. These were Yellow Submarine, “there’s a hole in my pocket” variety.
Which is probably a good thing, because despite some turn-your-head-and-say-whaa? offensive heroics, Jon Lester didn’t have a good night on the mound. He was itchy, and sweaty, and walk-y. And though he did manage nine Ks, including his 2,000th of his career, it led to a monster 104 pitch count in only four-plus innings. Especially as the Cubs were up eight after three, at some point you’d like to see just a here-hit-it approach. Maybe that’s what happened in the fifth, and the D-Backs can overhaul a large deficit with this lineup, so Joe pulled the chord before things got silly. If looks could kill Lester would have turned Maddon into paste.
Luckily, we’re in a Good-Rondon phase, and he was able to coax a fly out and two groundouts that only yielded a run and didn’t let Arizona have anything resembling a sniff. One out from Duensing and then the patented long-save/victory cigar from Mike Montgomery, and the Cubs remain two and a half to the good in the Central.
-The highlights and story will be about Jon Lester’s homer and his two hits, because we might not see it again. Lester has always had a solid swing and added reps have at least tight him how to get it in the same zip code as the ball. It was also hopping out to left tonight, where all five Cubs homers headed. But hey, they don’t ask how.
-I’m still wary of Zobrist, and I’m wary that there’s just no way Maddon won’t play him the most out of all the rotational pieces. He had twi hits tonight, but both singles. He hit .208 in July. He had one homer in July, and just five extra-base hits. Basically if we could combine him with Ian Happ’s no-single hits, we’d have…well, a true monster. I just wonder if that wrist has zapped any power Zobes might have had.
-Happ had two hits and a homer, and he needed it to say the least.
-Only Javy can look like he’s hurt in two different ABs, and then crush a three-run homer later. And no strikeouts. Mighty oaks from little acorns.
Lead photo courtesy Aaron Doster—USA Today Sports