A pair of firsts for two of the Cubs’ new players lead to 1-0 win
Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lester came into the day still looking for his first win of the season and he’d get it on the first day of May. Lester found himself in a little bit of a jam early in the game. In the top of the second inning Lester surrendered two singles and a walk to lead the bases, but with two out Lester leaned on his four seam fastball to strike out Wily Peralta to get out of the jam.
The scoring happened in the first at bat in the top of the third. Chicago Cubs’ rookie phenom Addison Russell at the dish turned on a 94 MPH fastball from Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta and sent it into center field for his first major league homer and giving Lester and the Cubs the 1-0 lead early in the game.
The top of the fourth Gerardo Parra reached on a bunt single with two out – that would be the last hit Lester would allow as he cruised into the eighth before getting the hook from Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon to let the bullpen finish off the game.
Lester pitched seven innings, allowing only three hits, one walk, and four K’s.
Pedro Strop cut down the Brewers one-two-three in the eighth with the Cubs holding on to the 1-0 lead.
Hector Rondon in the ninth would have the middle of the order to go through. He froze Ryan Braun on a 96 MPH fastball for the first out. Khris Davis fouled tip for the second out. Rondon, leaning on his four seam fastball had Jason Rogers on the ropes, but got a little caught up in the action and let a few pitches get away. Rogers would connect for a double to allow pinch hitter Adam Lind to bat.
Lind, a career .349 pinch hitter with four home runs, had his chance to be a hero, but he’d hit a broken bat ground out to Starlin Castro and the Cubs would earn the 1-0 victory.
With the win the Chicago Cubs move to 13-8 through the first month of the season. The Milwaukee Brewers fall to 5-18 on the season, the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
The Cubs’ had a couple of opportunities to put more runs on the board, but a combination of overly aggressive base running plays by Castro and Soler along with good throws from the Brewers’ Braun and Parra would nail both runners trying to reach third.
What Stood Out:
Jon Lester nailing down his first win with the Chicago Cubs showed his best command and had good movement on his fastball, and his cutter was working really well for him today. He is now 1-2 this season and lowered his ERA to 4.71 after the seven shutout innings.
Wily Peralta, like Lester, pitched well enough, but was the tough luck loser of the game. Peralta went six innings, giving up eight hits, the one home run, two walks, and six K’s. Peralta falls to 0-4 with a 4.35 ERA on the season for the “Brew Crew”.
Addison Russell‘s lone hit on the day was the only one that mattered. His first home run on the season couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s still batting under .200 (.194), but is having better at bats with each game he plays.
Castro and Soler added two hits each for the Cubs. Soler is now batting .259, while Castro moved his average to .333 on the season.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon while not getting the national headlines, are one of the best set-up/closer combinations in baseball. Strop securing his third held of the season today. Rondon pitched for his fifth save for the Cubs this season.
With the game on the line and the Cubs look to combo to finish the game, Cubs fans can feel comfortable with their odds of winning.
What Is Next:
Arrieta career vs. the Brewers is 2-2 with a 2.59 ERA – Adam Lind has excellent career numbers vs. Arrieta – posting a .364 batting average with a home run.
First pitch is slated for 1:20 CT tomorrow afternoon and can be seen on CSN Chicago.