What You Need to Know: The hardest blow for the Cubs came right before the game actually began, in the form of a sudden downpour, which caused a 50-minute delay of the start time. Another downpour came in the 9th, after the game was all but concluded, which they were forced to play wet and soaked.
In his second start back from the DL, Jon Lester tossed six innings of two-run ball, despite walking four and throwing only 69 of his 111 pitches for strikes. The offense scored eight runs thanks to seven doubles and a dinger. Three relievers, Justin Grimm, Justin Wilson, and Felix Pena, held the lead, though not smoothly, to secure the win.
The Cubs will dry themselves and return home for the homestand.
The Next Level: As I mentioned above, the Cubs combined to knock seven doubles – two by Ian Happ, one apiece by Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward. It was the 43rd time since 1913 in which the Cubs had seven or more doubles in a game. Considering they have played more than 16,000 games over that span, you can say it was a rare occurrence.
Similarly, six Cubs having at least one double in the same game has happened 46 times, which makes it slightly more common than the team combining for seven doubles in a game.
One of those doubles, a line drive down the left field line by Baez, came on a 1-2 count. Prior to today, he had one double in 214 plate appearances ended in 1-2 over the course of his career.
Top Play (WPA): Fittingly for a game full of doubles, two doubles bumped up the Cubs’ win probability 10.5% each – Bryant in the first and Lester in the fourth.
Bottom play (WPA): Max Moroff drew the second walk of the bottom of the third inning off of Lester to put to Pirates on bases without an out (-.064). Thankfully for the Cubs, the Buccos managed only one run in the frame and never scored again.
Lead photo courtesy Charles LeClaire—USA Today Sports