OSS: Dexter Fowler: "After me, the flood"
- Both offenses struggled with the combination of a huge strike zone and strike-throwing starters, but the cracks started showing when Dexter Fowler homered to deep CF in the sixth inning. Fowler also led off the game with a double, but it took a homer to wake up the Cubs bats. They got things going in the seventh with a pile of singles sandwiched around a throwing error by Alemdys Diaz, whose shaky throws today may have shown why the Cardinals traded for Ruben Tejada late in spring training.
- Lackey had a simply fantastic outing against his former club, striking out double digits and throwing a ton of strikes (again, albeit in the gigantic strike zone called by tonight's ump). He also got in on the action in the seventh with an RBI single off of Leake. I think this was the first Lackey start that I've actually watched, and I forgot how hard he throws. He also works very quickly, which is ????.
- Heyward had a tough day at the plate, but it was more than made up for with his excellent play in the field. His first inning strikeout with Fowler on second was ugly, but he blistered two balls in his final two PAs that just happened to be right at guys. His offensive numbers should wake up soon.
- The Cubs pulled off the rare defensive TOOTBLAN after catching Kolten Wong in no-man's land following what looked like a failed squeeze attempt in the fifth inning. Montero ran him back to the bag but waited too long to throw it to Bryant, and Wong was able to avoid the tag and get back in safely.
- The Cubs bottom play of the day by WPA was Russell's GIDP in the second inning, erasing a leadoff walk by Miguel Montero. There were so few baserunners in the early innings that neither team had much of a chance to botch anything.
- This start in general and Lackey's pace in particular warmed me sligthly towards Lackey, but it was all erased by the interview they aired with him around the sixth inning. The other half heard it from the next room and popped in to ask who the hell that moron was that they were interviewing today. If Ted Cruz has a case of backpfeifengesicht, I'm not sure what the German phrase for Voice that Makes You Want To Punch Someone in the Face. But I'm sure the Germans have a word for it (dying laughing).
Jason Hammel v Jaime Garcia, 7:15 PM CT