Entering the series against the Colorado Rockies, the Cubs found themselves with a chance to extend their season-best win streak to five games and take over first place in the division. Once again, scoring was at a premium and the game was decided by one run.
The Cubs were able to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 6th inning to take a 3-2 lead, thanks to a leadoff triple by Kris Bryant followed by a Anthony Rizzo groundout to first base to drive in the run. This ended up being just enough of a lead for the bullpen to hang onto for the win (box score).
Why the Cubs Won
Jon Lester didn’t have his best command in this outing, but he was able to keep the Cubs in the game and get out of a jam in the 5th inning to hold the deficit at one run. The offense came through with some good situational hitting and the bullpen closed out the game in strong fashion like they have so far to start the season.
With one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Ben Zobrist pulled a double down the third base line, which was promptly followed by a Addison Russell blooper to shallow left center field to put the Cubs up 1-0 early.
In the 5th inning, Jon Lester got himself in a little trouble, giving up two runs and the lead before loading the bases on a walk issued to Trevor Story. Lester managed to limit the damage and keep the Cubs in the game by striking out Chris Iannetta to end the inning and escape the bases-loaded jam.
Brian Duensing got the call to start the top of the 9th inning and struck out David Dahl for the first out. Carlos Gonzalez reached on a line-drive “single” that Javier Baez should have caught. Steve Cishek came in and got Ian Desmond to hit into a fielder’s choice before walking Charlie Blackmon. This brought Nolan Arenado to the plate with the tying run in scoring position and two outs in the inning, but Cishek struck him out to end the game.
Stats That Matter
- Addison Russell carried over his momentum from Sunday’s game with another multi-hit effort: 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 run.
- Luke Farrell picked up his first career win: 1.1 IP, 2 K
- Jon Lester kept the Cubs in game with another solid start: 5.2 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 5 K
The Cubs picked up another quality win to extend their winning streak to five games and took the lead in the NL Central at the conclusion of the first month of the season. The starting rotation seems to have figured it out as the weather has gotten warmer.
The Cubs will play the second game of their three-game series with the Rockies on Tuesday. Kyle Hendricks will take the mound for Chicago, while right-hander Jon Gray will take the mound for Colorado. First pitch is slated for 7:05pm CT and will air on WGN.