Jon Lester gets the nod in season series finale vs playoff bound Cardinals
By David Miniel
On the same afternoon, the Chicago Bears host Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, Jon Lester and the Cubs square off against the St. Louis Cardinals for the final time during the regular season.
As we all know, the Cubs have themselves a two-game advantage and have the opportunity to record the sweep with their prized southpaw on the bump opposite Carlos Martinez.
In yesterday’s game, both Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant went back-to-back off right-hander Michael Wacha during the fifth inning to help boost their club to their 87th win of the campaign.
While the Cardinals (92-56) lost this series on Saturday, they did, however, clinch a playoff berth later on in the evening. But that doesn’t mean that they’re just going to concede to anyone who steps in their way over the next couple of weeks.
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Including the Chicago Cubs who now trail the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates by one game and the visiting team by five for the N.L. Central title that they haven’t won since 2008.
Lester (10-10, 3.38 ERA) pitched his first complete game as a member of the Cubs (87-61) this past Tuesday in the doubleheader in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.
The 31-year-old southpaw dialed in for nine strikeouts, one walk, and one earned run on five hits to help his club earn a split. He also recorded his first pick-off of the season by catching Starling Marte off-guard.
Martinez (13-7, 3.02 ERA) held the Milwaukee Brewers to one earned run on four hits with a 9/2 K/BB ratio across eight innings of work the same night Lester took the mound in PNC Park.
Chicago chased him after five innings on Sept. 9 by tagging him for three earned runs on 10 hits in what should have been a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium.
Let’s hope things are different this time around and the bullpen is able to lock things down if the Cubs have themselves a lead in the ninth. Time to let the world know that the North Siders are ready for the post-season.
First pitch is slated for 1:20 p.m. central time and will air live on TBS, WBBM 780 A.M.