Seven inning is all Jon Lester needed to put away the Los Angels Angels as the mighty Chicago Cubs took it to them with a final score of 6-1.
There were some struggles last season with Lester add a monster contract and way too much hype and you had a season that at times was disappointing for the left hander.
“Last year was so different,” Lester said. “There was a lot of hype involved around myself and a lot of expectations for myself and you try to go out there for the first start and live up to those expectations all at once as opposed to letting the season play out and go through your 32 starts and see where you’re at at the end.”
An unlikely hero in yesterday’s victory was Matt Szczur who crushed his first home run of the season.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure off my back,” Szczur said. “I’m just trying to go out there and play and help the team win. We’re here to win and coming off the bench or starting, I’ll help the team win any way I can.”
It was a great win but what made it so special was the combined score of both games 15-1 and the Cubs start the season 2-0 for the first time since 1995.
Wow, who would have thought that but it’s true, and how quickly time flies.
What was so important about this series sweep has nothing to do with the 21 year drought of back to back victories to start the season, but with the confidence this squad has in each other and their ability to pull out the convincing wins. People can say that it’s only the beginning of the season and they can say that the Angels aren’t going to be contenders but the lineup the Cubs put on the field during these two games is exactly the answer to the hype.
It’s also going to plan.
Sure, the Cubs aren’t going to chalk up victories like they did over the Angels everytime and they’re going to lose a few but when they can get production from the back end guys like Szczur, the Cubs are going to be extremely difficult to play against.
“Matt Szczur is hot as a match,” Cubs catcher David Ross said. “What a great bat off the bench he’s been so far.”
The Cubs will enjoy a much needed rest before heading back to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
As Opening Day turns into Opening Week, the Cubs are getting things ready for Monday night’s opening of the 2016 Wrigley Field edition.
“We finished so strong last year, the expectations are pretty high,” Ricketts said. “I think fans are expecting this to be a really great year for us. People are just excited. I speak for all fans — let’s just get the games going. It was a great year, a great offseason, and we have the makings of a really strong team, so let’s just play games.”