ABOUT LAST NIGHT – REDS 2 @ CUBS 9 (BOX SCORE / CONDENSED GAME) – On bobblehead night for Cubs’ organist Gary Pressy, the Cubs beat the sad sack Cincinnati Reds 9 to 2 behind a very solid John Lackey. Lackey was the star, notching his 10th win this season. Winning at least 10 games is something that Lackey has done about a hundred times in his career. But there were other notables tonight too. So let’s do a quick run down.
Ben Zobrist was impressive at the plate. As Joe Maddon mentioned in his post-game comments on Tuesday, Zobrist right now is playing with “an organized strike zone” and is working the count and putting the ball in play. He reached base his first four times at bat tonight. Nice. On the other hand, he had a few wobbly moments defensively at second base. He botched a relay throw in the top of the first to miss doubling off a runner who had advanced too far on a fly out to Derrick Fowler in centerfield. In the middle innings, he let a ground ball scoot under his glove for a hit that should have been an out. In the late innings, he delivered a weak throw to Javy Baez, who was at shortstop tonight, making it impossible for Javy to throw to Anthony Rizzo to complete a likely double play. I have no doubt that Zobrist will be valuable in the post-season, but he may play more outfield than second base when the pressure is on.
It is not a mirage. Jason Heyward really is hitting the ball harder. He made consistently good contact tonight and was productive in his at bats.
You can say the same for Miguel Montero. He caught a nice game and hit the ball hard tonight. He had three RBIs. He is making a case to be on the post-season roster.
Though folks have been loathe to say it, Kris Bryant has been in a mini-slump recently. After a monster August, he was hitting under .200 in September. That is, until Tuesday night when he had three hits. Tonight, he started out as though Tuesday’s performance was just a tease. In his first three at bats tonight, he made poor swings at balls out of the strike zone with predictable results. But in the bottom of the 7th, he finally worked the count and crushed a 3 -1 fastball 411 feet to the back row of the left field bleachers driving in Dexter Fowler for the final two runs of the game. Bryant now has 38 home runs and 99 RBIs.
Dexter Fowler had a typical Dexter Fowler night. He finished with a homer and 3 runs scored.
As for the aforementioned Gary Pressy bobblehead, apparently, it also plays some audio of baseball organ music. It seemed that JD kept fiddling with it during the game and we could hear the doll play its music off and on during the broadcast. You know what? It was better than having a celebrity in the booth.
Finally, if you are wondering what will happen if the Mets, Giants and Cardinals tie for the wildcard, then you should read Jason Stark’s piece posted earlier today on espn.com.
A three way tie has never happened before, but Stark dissects the scenario nicely.