The Chicago Cubs ran their season-best winning streak to six games with a series-opening win over the New York Mets Monday night at Wrigley Field.
With a win streak on the line, left-hander Jon Lester reached deep on Monday, gutting his way through a start in which is fastball seemed flat at time. He gave way to the pen after six solid frames of three-run ball and the Chicago Cubs offense took care of the rest.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Lester did himself some favors, too. Aside from his work on the mound, he also snagged a screaming line drive, making a nice grab and picked off a runner at first. Oh, he smacked a two-run single, as well – doing his part to get his team the win.
More from Cubbies Crib
- 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 are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Both Milwaukee and St. Louis enjoyed a night off, meaning Chicago added further cushion to their division lead. They enter Tuesday 4 1/2 games up on the Cardinals and a full five games ahead of Milwaukee, who is just 5-5 in their last 10 ballgames.
Out of the two and three-spots in the order, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo combined for five hits on the night to pace the offense. The latter, who earned National League Player of the Week honors earlier Monday, ripped his 22nd home run of the year – and now sits at 86 RBI on the season.
We penned a piece on Baez yesterday pregame – asking a question we all hoped we’d ask someday, but, prior to this season, never knew if we would: is Javier Baez a legitimate 40/40 threat moving forward?
He’d have to boost his running game, but he’s shown improved baserunning results this season, making us think it’s more than a long-shot. It could even be likely if he can keep up the work he’s done this year.
This season, Steve Cishek has served as Joe Maddon‘s fireman in the bullpen. It doesn’t matter what the situation or timing is – when Maddon needs a big out, this is his guy. And, despite allowing a home run on Monday, Cishek has answered that call.
Important happenings on Twitter
These & Other Stories You May Have Missed
Do Cubs boast the next member of baseball’s 40/40 club? – Cubbies Crib
It’s time for the Giants to start over again – Call to the Pen
Murphy leading the team’s offensive resurgence – Cubbies Crib
Mets should bring back Omar Minaya as GM – Rising Apple
Maddon is going to Cishek early and often this season – Cubbies Crib