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SINGING IN THE RAIN: Cubs 2, Pirates 1 (11)

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates met this afternoon at Wrigley Field for the finale that has seen the Cubs survive bullpen meltdowns to win the first two games. How would today’s game go?

The Cubs rode solid pitching, both from Jon Lester and the much (and rightfully so) maligned bullpen to a 2-1 win in 11 innings, as Javier Baez singled in David Bote to give the Cubs a series sweep and a no-touch celebration on the pitchers mound. Let’s get to this.

THE GOOD:

Lester. He scuffled at the beginning, throwing over twenty pitches in each of his first two innings before buckling down and going six innings. He struck out four while allowing 4 hits and one run on a first inning Kevin Newman homer. He’s given the Cubs 11 innings over two starts, allowing just the one run and four hits. This is the number four starter.

Casey Sadler, Lovin’ Spoonful bassist Dan Winkler, Ryan Tepera and Jeremy Jeffress. Together they gave the Cubs five scoreless innings. So for at least one game the Cubs bullpen was solid.

Kyle Schwarber had two great throws from left field today, one following a carom off the wall along the left field line that held Newman to a single in the third inning, and one that got Jacob Stallings at the plate in the tenth. That’s for everyone who thought he should be the Cubs’ DH.

THE BAD:

At some point Steven Souza Jr. needs to get it going. I’d actually like to see David Ross give him a game or two at the DH spot and let him get untracked. At this point he’s got 1 hit and 5 strikeouts in 10 at bats. He’s been historically a good hitter, so there’s still a good chance he’ll get untracked. The Pirates had Sam Howard, a lefthander, pitch around lefthanded hitting Kyle Schwarber to pitch to Souza because he’s just not feared. Maybe that changes if he can get some more burn and some big hits.

THE UGLY:

Richard Rodriguez’ beard. I think I saw a Teamsters ring peeking out. Has anybody checked him for Jimmy Hoffa?

Tomorrow night the Kansas City Royals come in, and it will be Jorge Soler’s first game back in Wrigley Field. That is, of course, if there is still a season tomorrow night.

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