Tha Sports Junkies 101

Lester Returns, Cubs Get The Win


Lester Returns, Cubs Get The Win

Saturday was busy late morning/afternoon for the first place Chicago Cubs. They announced that starting left-hand pitcher Jon Lester returned to the ball club and would be activated from the disabled list. The Cubs also included in the press release, Lester would be starting Saturday afternoon’s game against the Atlanta Braves. Lester struggled with a 32 pitch first inning and then gave up four runs through five innings before exiting, good enough to earn his ninth win. The Cubs bullpen gave up eight runs but escaped any major problems as the Cubs bats stayed hot. The Cubs earn sixth straight win 14-12 and are 4.5 games ahead in the NL Central.


Jon Lester returns and started things off with a 32-pitch inning but escaped with no runs through first two innings. Cubs hit the score board first with a grand slam from newly acquired Rene Rivera, scoring Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward. Rivera’s grand slam was the first of his 13-year major league career.

Top of the Third, Braves inch closer with power from the middle of the lineup. Freddie Freeman launched a two-run home run center field, scoring Ozzie Albers. Matt Kemp followed that with a solo home run to get within a run of the Cubs. That didn’t last as Javier Baez hit his 21st of the season the following half inning.

To continue the trend of scoring runs off home runs, Braves Rio Ruiz hit a solo home run to center field to get his team within a run (again).

Busy inning for the Cubs came in the fifth. Anthony Rizzo drove in Lester, Jon Jay and Kyle Schwarber with his second triple of the season. Javier Baez doubled to drive Rizzo in. Jason Heyward joined in with a single and drove in Baez. Cubs lead 10-6 at this point.

Nick Markakis drove in Albers and Freeman on his 34th double of the season in the seventh inning. Kurt Suzki singled in Markakis the following at-bat.

Cubs would another two runs off of an Albert Almora ground ball single to the outfield in the seventh.

Freeman on the first pitch he saw in the eighth doubles, scoring Lane Adams and advancing Jace Peterson. Peterson would score on Matt Kemp’s ground ball out to Kris Bryant.

To finish off the scoring for the Cubs, Jason Heyward hit his ninth home run of the season in the eighth. Cubs hold a 14-9 lead entering the ninth.

Wade Davis came in needing to get one out after Brian Duensing gave up two runs on two hits. Davis surrendered a single to Albers which scored Peterson. For the second day in a row, Davis had Freeman at the plate with the tying run on. Instead of a double play, this time he got Freeman to strike out swinging to end the game.

Pitching Notes

Cubs bullpen finished the day pitching four innings, allowing nine hit and eight runs, walking four and striking out five. Besides that Hector Rondon and Carl Edward, both pitched shutout inning while combing to strike out four Braves batters.

Stats of the Day/Quote

Cubs pitching allowed eight runs to the Atlanta Braves Saturday afternoon. That is more than they allowed in their first five games against them combined (8).

Anthony Rizzo drove in his 100th run of the season Saturday. He now has 3 straight seasons with 30 doubles, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in. Jon Lester not impressed.

What’s Next

Cubs look to extend their win streak as well as sweep the season series against the Braves. Mike Montgomery (5-6) will make the start for the Cubs while Max Fried (0-0) will be on the mound for the Braves.

Max Fried is making his first career start, he has previously made four appearances out the bullpen but struggled. He’s got a highly-mentioned curveball that shined in the so far in his young career.

Mike Montgomery took over Lester’s starting spot during his absence and went to 2-0. Montgomery might have secured a spot in the rotation for the playoffs. During the second half he’s been one of the Cubs most reliable pitchers. He’s 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA over 39.2 innings and has 27 strikeouts during that span. Montgomery went six innings while allowing 1 run against the Braves back in July. He even hit himself a home run.

Atlanta Braves (59-75) at Chicago Cubs (75-60) at 1:20 pm.


Jon Lester returns to the Cubs and earns a win.

Jon Lester returns to the Cubs and earns a win. The Cubs win their sixth straight game and moved 4.5 games ahead in the division