View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

24

May 2017

35

COMMENTS

Lester Deals – Schwarber Delivers to Waveland

Written by , Posted in General

Last night’s game was the game fans have been waiting for since opening day. Dominant starting pitching, crisp defense, and some loud homeruns by some big boys. Lasting just over two hours, the game was quick and clean. If you’re looking for a game to build off, this is the one. Three hard hit home runs off a top national league pitcher is enough to spark a bipolar offense out of this lull of inconsistency. Speaking of hard hit, how about 114.2 mph off the bat of Kyle Schwarber?! Combine that with a 26-degree launch angle and you have yourself a souvenir for the fans on Sheffield Avenue, 470 feet away. According to a post on the Cubs Instagram page, Kyle’s homer is the first ball hit to Sheffield since August 19, 2014, well before the bleachers were renovated. On top of that, it’s nice to see Heyward continue to put the ball in play with authority post disabled list, and Anthony Rizzo is starting to turn around his .771 OBP with more consistent power over the last week.

What can be said about ACE Jon Lester? He must have had a side deal with Rob Manfred and the pace of play police. Lester had it right away and never backed down. Jon struck out the side in the first, a seemingly impossible feat for the 2017 Cubs starting staff, and was given an early lead after the Schwarber dinger. He would collect 4 more strike outs before allowing a run in the 5th on a couple doubles from catcher Buster Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford. After that Jon took it to another level, slamming the door shut with three more strike outs over four perfect innings to for his 15th career compete game. The most impressive feat of the 10 K performance was the fact that he needed just 99 pitches. An achievement some refer to as a “Maddux” after cub legend Greg Maddux, who regularly completed games with no more than 99 pitches (looking on the online, however, I did see a few sources say the true “Maddux” is a complete game shutout, but I’m willing to let that slide for Jon. You try telling him no). The starting rotation as a whole has started to come around in terms of outing length, something that helps the bullpen stay rested and sharp. Hopefully this is the beginning of good things to come for the staff, with warmer weather on the horizon (someday?).

While Ian Happ had a quiet day at the plate, he showed some range in center and just generally looks comfortable and confident on defense. While I see him more as a corner outfielder (let’s not forget he’s primarily a second baseman) it is great to see him showing promise at the big-league level, in a bigtime position.

I am sure everyone has seen video of the Cubs and Brewers rain delay bullpen dance-off from the previous series. That camera, and left field videoboard, now shows those same goofballs celebrating when a Cubs player hits a homer, which I found to be rather hilarious.

As I put the finishing touches on the draft I wrote on train ride home from the game, the Dodgers walked-off the Cardinals in the bottom of the 13th. The turf monster got a hold of right fielder Stephen Piscotty‘s leg as a ball off the bat of Logan Forsythe rattled around in the corner. This allowed Keke Hernandez to score, sending Dodger fans and Cubs fans to bed happy.

  • Brad Lyerla

    The dance off after a homer is now my favorite thing about the ’17 Cubs.

  • Doug S.

    As one of Lester’s biggest critics in year one here, I am very happy when he pitches like he did last night, 4 hit complete game, love it. The look on Cueto’s face after the Schwarb-bomb is great.

  • Adam Peters

    With Happ’s sustained performance with the big club, more than ever, I think somebody’s got to be on the trading block.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Baez

  • cap’n realist

    Nice to see Lester have a good outing. Calling it a ‘Maddux’ is a little ridiculous. Maddux had 19 gold gloves (19!) and Lester still under hands comebackers to first like a 3rd grade girl. Actually, my 3rd grade girl makes that throw and actually asked me last night if underhand was even allowed in baseball. Maddux did ALL the small stuff well, paid attention to detail, and is a first ballot hall of famer. Lester had a good outing, something that should be frankly expected of guys in his tax bracket. Schwarber’s homerun was followed by 2 pretty ugly strikeouts and he continues to look more like Bob Hamelin every game. I liked the lineup Joe rolled with last night, with the exception of Schwarber in the 2 spot. Why not Happ hitting 2? Schwarber should hit 8th in a 2nd cleanup role until he rights the ship and learns to hit pitches above his quadriceps.

    • Giant home run and two Ks. Schwarbs sort of put on a Donkey show.

    • Dork

      Whatever you call it I love the complete game under 100 pitches, that is just throwing unhittable strikes.

      • cap’n realist

        It was a nice outing…. doesn’t hurt that the Giants suck dog turds this season.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Maddux won the NL Pitcher Gold Glove every year from 1990-2008 except one (that’s 18). What year did he not win it, and who won it that year? 2 hints:
      1. It was a teammate of Maddux at the time
      2. It was not Glavine or Smoltz

      • Les Lancaster

      • Dork

        The only other pitcher i remember from those teams is Denny Nagle. Good brain teaser, as pat calls them.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Not him.

      • cap’n realist

        Pretty sure it was Mike Hampton, who would be a great addition to the Cubs coaching staff in my opinion.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It was. What year? Why do you feel he would be a good coach?

      • cap’n realist

        It was around 2003. He is doing good things as Mariners bullpen coach. He did the smal things well, won a few silver sluggers, had a good lefty pickoff move that he could teach the 3rd grade girl. I think he’s the only pitcher to win a silver slugger and gold glove in the same year. He was a complete player…something I’d like to see quite a few young Cub players become.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It was 2003! And he did win both awards that year

      • Brad Lyerla

        Mike Hampton

      • Steve Trachsel

      • Doc Raker

        Antonio Alfanseca who Ron Santo would refer to as Al Fanseca as if his first name was Al. Santo was confused anytime Pat mentioned Antonio.

      • Real Ronnie and Pat is a tough act to follow. Best broadcast I’ve consumed.

      • Doc Raker

        For sure, Santo was awesome, as visceral as they come. He couldn’t hide anything.

      • Turk Wendell

  • Michael Plus Lindsey Verest

    Waveland? Don’t you mean Sheffield? Would have hit either one really haha

    • Doc Raker

      It landed on Sheffield and bounced over onto Waveland. Why do more home runs end up on Waveland than on Sheffield?

      • Seymour Butts

        Tom Tunney insisted on it as part of the lights deal.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s because he’s a White Sox fan

  • Buddy

    The combination of Lester and Contreras has been solid against opposing running games so far this year. I think the caught stealing percentage is up over 50 percent now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch another episode of Columbo.

  • Dork

    And that is how I would have expected game 5 to turn out too.

  • Doug S.

    A. Game duration 2:05
    Q. What will you never see in the AL?

    • Bryzzo1744

      I saw it once. White Sox-Mariners 2005. Village idiot Mark Buerhle pitching. The game lasted 1:39

      • Doug S.

        CAPS to the rescue to foil my double jeopardy. I wonder what day of the week that was?

      • Bryzzo1744

        Saturday. April 16

      • A Tuesday.

      • Eddie Von White

        You’re still right. The AL has never seen 2:05