Chicago Cubs drop series opener; division lead shrinks to just one game

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs not only lost a ballgame on Monday night, but also saw their ace go down with an injury, as their lead in the National League Central shrank.

Just like that, the Milwaukee Brewers have closed the Chicago Cubs advantage in the division to a mere one game. With a 3-2 win at Wrigley Field on Monday night, Craig Counsell‘s club pulled one step closer to hurdling their rivals in the National League Central.

In a 2-2 tied game in the top of the sixth, Jon Lester grimaced after throwing a strikeout pitch to Jonathan Schoop. After Willson Contreras called for Joe Maddon and the training staff, the veteran left-hander departed with what was later called ‘low back tightness’.

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Carl Edwards Jr. entered in relief of Lester with a runner on third. The first pitch he threw careened past Contreras, allowing the go-ahead run to cross home plate. Edwards jogged toward home plate as Contreras sprinted after the wild pitch, giving his catcher zero chance of getting Mike Moustakas at the dish.

To say the least, it wasn’t a strong showing on Edwards’ part.

"“We need to get Carl straightened out,” Maddon said. “The symmetry of the bullpen is different without him out there. His skill set is really important to us. We have to get him right.”"

These two teams continue their series on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. We’re at a point now where the series sure feels like a must-win. If Milwaukee can win the next two ballgames, the entire feeling for the Cubs’ season changes drastically.

Of course, after this series wraps up, Chicago has a make-up game with the Nationals on the docket. But there’s a problem. A Category 4 hurricane is churning its way toward the East Coast – set to make landfall on Thursday. We’ll hope the league makes the right call, but only time will tell.

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What’s Next?

Chicago and Milwaukee continue their three-game set on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Jhoulys Chacin (14-6, 3.59) takes the ball for the Brewers opposite left-hander Jose Quintana (12-9, 4.14).