OSS: A most incredibly frustrating 5 run win.
- Willson Contreras might be the best player on this team. He hit another homer, his 7th of July which brought his OPS up to .835. Combining his offense, defense, and rookie contract, I don't think there's a more valuable catcher in the game.
- Ben Zobrist is trying to find himself out of a season long slump and went 3-4 with 2 doubles.
- Carl Edwards, Jr. was nails taking over for John Lackey with men on 2nd and 3rd in the 5th. He got out of the jam and holding the 2 inherited runners, culiminating with a swinging strikeout to Jose Abreu.
Three Six down:
- Cubs hitters struck out 17 (!) times, 11 coming from Carlos Rodon in his 4 innings of work. Yes, of Rodon's 12 outs, 11 came by way of strikeout.
Lance Barksdale has a terrible game behind the plate. His zone was all over the place for both teams. He then didn't issue a warning after Lackey hit his 4th batter of the game in 5 innings and 3rd HBP in a row in the 5th. With no warning issued, Chris Beck retaliated on his second pitch hitting Ian Happ. It took 5 HBP for Barksdale to issue a warning. Of his strike calling duties, his worst came on Bryant's called strike three which culiminated in Bryant getting tossed:
#Cubs Strike 3 should be ball 3 Bot 4 Rodon vs Bryant 2% call same 4.4in from edge
3:52 PM – 25 Jul 2017
- Kris Bryant took home a golden sombrero prior to getting tossed and hitting the showers early. He also took a nasty foul ball off his right knee that kept him down a good 3-4 minutes before being ready to get back in the batter's box.
- One-uping Bryant, Javier Baez took home the palladium (rhodium? diamond?) sombrero going 0-5 with 5 Ks.
- John Lackey continued doing 2017 John Lackey things. He allowed 11 baserunners in 5+ innings and somehow only gave up 2 runs. He hit 4 batters on the day, including 3 in the 5th alone.
- Lackey came up to bat in the bottom of the 5th just after getting out of his bases loaded via HBP jam. There were two runners on with two outs after Rick Renteria intentionally walked Addison Russell. Joe kept Lackey in to hit for himself despite the scoring opportunity and high likelihood that Lackey wouldn't get through the following half inning. Lackey grounded out to end the frame, gave up a single and double and was promptly pulled without recording an out in the 6th. Touche Joe.
Next up: The teams switch sides as the series goes to Guarantee Rate Field (dying laughing) for a two game set. Jake Arrieta takes on James Shields today to see if either pitcher can go back in time to 2015.