The Cubs dropped the first game of the series with the Phillies after Jason Motte blew the save in the 9th. The Phillies then hit a 2-run HR in the top of the 10th to make the difference in the 5-3 loss today.
Chris Coghlan had himself a good day all around in today’s game. He went 2 for 3 at the plate with a 2-run HR (new career high of 10), single, walk and 2 stolen bases (9 on the year now). He also made a great running play to his left in the gap to take away a possible extra-base hit, but his biggest play was cutting down Jeff Francoeur at home after he tried to score from 2nd on a single to LF.
Kris Bryant got the Cubs on the board with his 13th HR of the year to RF. He has now hit 10 of his 13 HRs at Wrigley and it was a no-doubt-about-it towering fly to the bleachers. He is now hitting .257 on the year and the solo shot gives him 55 RBI.
Jorge Soler had a couple flares for singles and a rocket off of Papelbon to go 3 for 5 on the day with a run scored (on Coghlan’s HR). He is now hitting .261 and was very close to hitting one out to CF earlier in the game, but he just missed it and got underneath it a little bit.
Jon Lester was in control today and, if not for a questionable missed 3rd strike call, he would have had a clean outing. He almost got out of the 4th inning with 2 men on, but instead of strike 3 getting called on Asche, Lester gave up a 2-run double that gave the Phillies the lead. He finished with 7 innings and gave up the 2 runs (both earned) on 7 hits, 0 walks with 6 Ks. He didn’t get the win thanks to Jason Motte blowing the save, but he did lower his ERA to a very respectable 3.32 on the year.
Hector Rondon continues to do what is asked of him and do it very well. He pitched the 8th inning today and gave up a single with a strikeout to lower his ERA to 1.88 on the year.
Jason Motte blew the save today (his 1st) and gave up the tying run on a hard-hit double by Asche after a very hard hit triple by Galvis. Motte does not have much in his repertoire besides a fastball (thrown 85% of the time) and an occasional cutter (thrown 15%). He just tries to throw it past the batter and it doesn’t hurt the batter’s approach to know that it is coming hard and there is nothing offspeed to worry about.
Rafael Soriano gave up the go ahead 2-run HR to Jeff Francoeur in the top of the 10th to give the game to the Phillies. The first run was charged to James Russell, but it is a loss for Soriano.
The pen has been lights out for a pretty long stretch, so I know the knee-jerk reaction is to be pissed that the Cubs lost to the Phillies and say they need to go get Papelbon to switch clubhouses. I am in favor of adding to the pen, but the real problem today was the inability to score runs against a pitcher with an ERA over 6.00 on the road.
Game 2 of the series will be again start at 3:05 PM (CST) and will be shown on ABC7 (or your local affiliate). The game will feature a great matchup between Jake Arrieta (11-5, 2.52) for the Cubs against possible Cubs trade target Cole Hamels (5-7, 3.91) for the Phillies.