OSS: Hamels stifles the Cards in his best start in a Cubs uniform so far.
- Cole Hamels had a day, striking out ten Cardinals in eight scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and one walk. His game score of 89 is his best since joining the Cubs. In fact, it was his best game since 2016. The Cubs picking up his $20m option for this year is looking like a pretty good decision so far.
- Jazy Baez homered in the first to give the Cubs an early lead. It was both yet another homer on an 0-2 count and yet another oppo shot. Javy leads the majors in WAR for shortstops at 2.9.
- Vic Caratini had another solid day at the plate going 2-2 with a walk and a double. He has a whopping .350/.469/.550 line on the year. Given how Willson faded down the stretch due to his workload it’s good to see Caratini producing this year. Caratini did get 200 PAs last year but they were pretty forgettable.
- The Cubs could have picked up another insurance run were it not for some confusion on a ball hit down the line that hit a security guard, which led to Rizzo being thrown out at home. I’d like to think that Ozuna throwing his hands up like it was a ground rule double was a good ruse, but he was probably as confused as everyone else.
- Not much else to complain about. The Cubs offense wasn’t exactly on fire in this one, but with this Hamels performance they didn’t need to be.
- The Brewers won, so the Cubs are still in first but only by percentage points.
Next up: Jack Flaherty takes on Jon Lester at 6:15 PM CT (Fox broadcast). Flaherty struck out 8 Cubs in five innings last weekend, allowing two runs. The guy racks up big pitch counts so hopefully the Cubs can take advantage.