The Chicago Cubs find themselves in their first doubleheader of the season following last night’s 8-7 win over the Padres. Jon Lester worked a quality start while Ben Zobrist continued to stay hot. Can he keep it up?
Zobrist, who was named co-National League Player of the Week with New York Mets right-hander, Bartolo Colon, finished last night’s contest 4-for-4 at the dish. Like Dexter Fowler‘s start to the campaign, Ben is the hottest hitter on the Cubs as of now.
And, on top of Lester’s fantastic start, the Chicago Cubs (25-6) extended their winning streak to eight games and have the opportunity of completing a three-game sweep with an off-day scheduled for tomorrow.
Taking the mound for the first-place and red-hot Cubbies will be 26-year-old right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
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Hendricks (2-2, 3.10 ERA) is coming off his best start to the 2016 campaign where he held the Washington Nationals to two hits, two walks, and four strikeouts in six innings of scoreless baseball.
His offense, or Zobrist, in this case, backed him up with a two-run homer and accounted for four of Chicago’s five runs in the 5-2 series opener win. So, hopefully, both men can continue to perform well.
As for the San Diego Padres (13-20), 25-year-old right-hander Colin Rea will take the bump in hopes of getting his team back in the win column. They were once down 8-3 in last night’s contest but battled back during the later innings, hammering a grand slam in the eighth inning to bring themselves within one of the home team.
Rae started out the year with an earned run average above nine and watched it skyrocket up to 12 following his second outing of the year. He was tagged for 14 earned runs on 30 hits and three homers in 27 1/3 innings against the Dodgers, Rockies, Phillies, Pirates, and Cardinals.
His previous start of the Mets, on the other hand, was a gem. With the Padres holding onto a five-run lead, Rae was looking to put himself in the record books with his first career no-hitter.
Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes played the role of spoiler by recording a two-out single in the seventh inning but it still wasn’t enough for his club to walk away with the victory. Rae was handed the win in the 5-3 victory at home.
First pitch for Game 1 of this doubleheader is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN Plus, 670 The Score. Here’s today’s Game 1 starting lineup: