Following a series loss at the hands of the Rockies, the Chicago Cubs bounced back with a win over the Padres. A productive night on both sides of the diamond and an even bigger night for a few young stars.
Let’s face it, yesterday’s loss stung a little bit. Not only did Nolan Arenado homer twice against the Chicago Cubs (79-45) for the second time this year but Jason Hammel was chewed up. Tonight’s win over San Diego felt much better, putting Chicago back in the win column.
Southpaw Jon Lester (14-4, 2.81 ERA) continued to dominate on the mound and improved to 5-0 since the All-Star break. In six innings of work, Lester held the Padres (53-72) to one earned run on five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
His performance tonight tied him for the major-league lead with 20 quality starts. Which is impressive, to say the least.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Rising star, Addison Russell, swatted his 18th home run of the campaign during the top of the second inning. This came with former Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson (3-4, 5.71 ERA) on the mound who gave up a few long balls.
Russell has been red-hot for the first-place Chicago Cubs as of late, homering four times in as many days. In addition, the 22-year-old shortstop later added another RBI on a sacrifice fly, becoming the first Cubs shortstop to reach 80 RBI in the 2000’s.
Not even former infielder Starlin Castro managed to reach that number. In fact, Starlin’s career-high was 78 during the 2012 campaign, another reason to love Russell. Aside from his bat, Russell made a fantastic diving stop on a hard-hit ball by Wil Meyers in the eighth for the second out.
Later on in the fifth, University of San Diego alumni, Kris Bryant smashed a solo homer. Bryant’s 32nd home run of the season put him ahead of Arenado for the lead in the National League.
While we’re on the topic of going yard, Jason Heyward joined in on the fun. Heyward took a bit of an uppercut swing, sending a pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run homer. Jason has been struggling at the plate lately, so this one had to feel great for him.
San Diego’s only run of the evening came on a wild pitch delivered by reliever Justin Grimm in the seventh inning. Young right-hander Carl Ewards Jr. picked up some work in the ninth and struck outthree batterstters.