Soler Injury: Jorge Soler singled to the left field wall in his 2nd at-bat and as he was getting ready to round 1st base, he began limping and returned the bag. He grabbed his left hamstring and left immediately when Joe and the trainer came out to see him. Soler has had hamstring issues so they weren't going to take any chance leaving him in the game. He was in pain, but he wasn't limping too badly and was able to walk off the field without a noticeable limp.
After the game, Joe Maddon said Albert Almora would be a candidate to replace him. I'm guessing that Matt Murton is the other candidate. I'd like to see Almora, but I don't have high hopes for him. I think he'll make up for some of his offensive problems with his defense so I'm OK with it. I just have a feeling we're going to see a .250/.275/.325 line from him. Who knows? Maybe he hits .300 and the lack of walks isn't a glaring issue.
- Jason Heyward was 1-5, but his hit was a 2-run home run to right field that put the Cubs up 3-0. The .189 WPA on the play was the highest in the game.
- Kris Bryant was 3-5 and he had the game-winning hit. His replay-reviewed ground rule double was the second highest WPA play of the game. It scored Fowler and put the Cubs up 1-0.
- Anthony Rizzo could go here (3-5), but Jon Lester was outstanding again. Coming off his complete game, he pitched 8 innings, allowed 4 hits and no runs. He walked nobody and struckout 9. He was at 95 pitches after the 8th and a lot of people probably wanted him to complete the game. I was even one of them. Thinking about it again, it was the right call to go to the bullpen. I'm not sure I understand the 5 runs is enough to send Lester back out there, but 6 is where I draw the line that Joe had last night. Makes no sense to me, but whatever. I'm not the one making millions so Joe knows a thing or two I don't.
- Justin Grimm took a 6-0 lead in the 9th and before he could retire a single batter he had made it a save situation.
- Javier Baez was 0-5 with a couple of strikeouts.
- Addison Russell was also 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. When those two are going bad, and Russell is going really bad right now, they often swing as hard as they can hoping to make contact and hit the ball a long way.
One way or another, Javier Baez is going to see more playing time than he has been now. That's a good thing if you think Baez is all that good. It's not so good if you don't. I think he's a fantastic fielder, but I'm not sold on his hitting. I'd love to be, but I'm not yet. I miss Kyle Schwarber.
Next up: Kyle Hendricks vs. Jared Eickhoff at 6:05 PM CT.