Jon Lester was excellent last night, and the Cubs rewarded him with some much-needed run support.
OK, it wasn’t a lot of run support, but it got the job done, as the Cubs beat the Braves 4-0.
The Cubs’ ace pitched like one, going 7.1 scoreless and surrendering only two hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
Lester actually had a no-hitter entering the 8th inning, although under strange circumstances: He gave up a single in the 1st, but it was changed by the official scorer to an error in the 7th inning.
Personal side note, I have never seen a game — in-person or on TV — in which a no-hitter occurred. I obliviously missed the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter against the Astros in 2008 (it was pre-Twitter, and nobody thought to text me and let me know a no-hitter was in progress), as well as the recent White Sox no-hitters.
So let’s just say I was not surprised at all when A.J. Pierzynski broke up Lester’s bid for a no-no to lead of the 8th.
The Cubs’ offense once again wasn’t great, but did enough to win. I feel like we’re going to see a lot of this going forward for the remainder of the year.
Jon Lester said after the game that he didn’t realize he had a no-hitter going until he was on-deck to bat in the 8th. I’m sure a lot of the guys didn’t know, due to the scoring change.
But in another somewhat comical confession after the game, David Ross said he thought the Cubs were only up 1-0, rather than 2-0, until the 9th. “Maybe I am still concussed,” he joked to Jesse Rogers.
Pretty funny, but it was probably a good idea to pretend that the Cubs only had a one-run lead, with the lack of run support Lester has received lately.
Not surprising, but Kyle Schwarber did not get the start last night, with Jon Lester on the mound. But will we see him catch Jake Arrieta today?
Maddon said the other day that David Ross would catch both Lester and Arrieta for the most part, but we’ll see if he follows through on that. It has to be so hard to keep that bat on the bench at all, let alone two days in a row.
Schwarber pinch-hit last night, but was retired on a flyout.
* The Iowa Cubs broke out the bats yesterday in a 10-4 win. Matt Szczur was 3-for-5 with two home runs, Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-5 with three runs scored and a triple, and Junior Lake went 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored. Lake, who has been hitting very well as of late, also stole a base.
* RHP Rafael Soriano pitched another scoreless inning for the I-Cubs. Only a matter of time before he’s called up. Have to wonder if Edwin Jackson would be out the door when it’s time to call up Soriano.