CI Recap (6/15/18) – Cubs 13, Cardinals 5: Offense Explodes, Lester Solid as Cubs Cruise in Series Opener

After a disappointing final two games against the Brewers earlier in the week, the Cubs opened a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night. The Cubs offense, shut out in those final two games in MIL, made their presence felt against Michael Wacha and the Cardinals bullpen.

Kris Bryant ended the longest home run drought of his career, 107 at-bats, with a two-run shot off Wacha in the third inning to follow Ian Happ’s solo-blast earlier in the inning. Jon Lester provided an RBI with another of his patented squeeze bunts (scoring Javy, of course), and Kyle Schwarber hit the third longest HR by an opposing player in Busch Stadium history to chase Michael Wacha in the fifth inning without recording an out after allowing eight earned runs (nine total).

The offense eventually pushed 13 runs across the plate, which would have been enough for anybody on the mound, and it was certainly enough for Jon Lester. The lefty tossed another solid six innings, improving to 8-2 on the 2018 season. (Box Score)

Why the Cubs Won

The Cubs offense scored 13 runs on 14 hits while drawing five walks. That’ll be enough to get the job done quite a bit more often than not.

Key Moment

Kris Bryant ended the longest stretch of his career without a home run, 107 at-bats, by taking a Michael Wacha fastball deep in the third inning. Joe Maddon took a lot of flack for not having KB hit in place of Chris Gimenez at the end of Wednesday’s game, so it was nice to see Joe’s decision pay off with Kris coming back strong Friday night.

Stats That Matter

  • Kris Bryant drove in four runs Friday night with a home run (2), a single, and a sacrifice fly.
  • Albert Almora Jr. had a strong night from the leadoff spot. AA went 3-5 with two RBI.
  • Addison Russell turned in one of his best offensive games of the season tonight going 3-4 with two doubles. The only out he made was a hard line drive to right field as well.
  • Jon Lester improves to 8-2 on the season with a 2.28 ERA. He allowed two runs on five hits over six innings of work. Lester has won his last four starts.
  • Javy Baez walked twice (unintentionally) in this game. Twice!

Bottom Line

The Cubs didn’t get any help from Jake Arrieta and the Phillies against the Brewers tonight, but they took care of business to open this series in St. Louis. After being shut out in the last two games in Milwaukee, it was nice to see the offense break out and quiet some of the critics (for now…).

On Deck

The Cubs look to secure a series victory on Saturday night in STL. Kyle Hendricks will get the ball for the Cubs, and he’ll be opposed by righty Carlos Martinez. That game will start at 7:15 CT and can be found on FOX.

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