The first inning in last night’s Chicago Cubs/ Cincinnati Reds game could have been viewed in two different ways; if you’re a Reds fan it was excruciatingly long but if you cheered for the North Siders as many of you readers are known to do on occasion, well then, this was worth the wait.
The Cubs beat up on the Reds badly in a 9-2 victory which saw Reds’ pitcher Alfredo Simon hurl 49 pitches across the plate resulting in 11 batters taking walks at the sphere. It gave Cubs’ starter John Lackey plenty of time to chow down on peanuts and rest that old catapult for later.
“You look at him on the bench, and I gave him a knuckle thing before the game, and he was totally absorbed in the game before it ever began,” Joe Maddon said. “Then you’re the shortstop or second baseman walking by and see the starting pitcher looking like that, Let’s go. He’s got the edge — it’s very contagious. He demands a lot. It’s great for us and, of course, for him.”
Lackey pitched a pretty decent game which included a base hit.
“I made better pitches tonight, did a few things smarter, mixed some things up,” Lackey said. “With the lead, it helps. I was able to locate pretty good. Guys made it a lot easier on me, the last two starts. They’ve swung the bats well. It’s been fun to be the pitcher on this side.”
2015 Rookie of The Year, Kris Bryant delivered his first home run of the season. If folks talk about a sophomore slump, well it looks like Bryant picks up where he left off. He’ll be on pace for many more moon shots this season.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way,” Bryant said. “It’s one of those days when you don’t expect it, either. It’s a nice surprise. I think I had some good at-bats today and I’m seeing the ball really good. I’m pleased with my approach up there.”
The Cubs are now 7-1. The young players are learning the game. One thing is for sure, and that’s the patience at the plate is serving them well. Chicago leads the league in walks with 48. Last season, their Achille’s was strikeouts. The Cubs led the MLB with 1518 strikeouts. This year, the Cubs have 67. They’re in 15th place overall. That’s the key to the season is patience. Waiting for those right pitches to come.
“You won’t hear me complain about hanging around watching guys score runs, I promise you that,” Lackey said. “I’ll sit there and get a coffee and wait as long as they want to hit.”