Sometimes, the mighty fall. That’s what happened yesterday as the Chicago Cubs tried to close out the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 2-1 loss.
Jon Lester held the Pirates scoreless through 6 1/3 innings of work, but his no hitter was broken in the seventh when Jung Ho Kang hit an RBI double.
“He’s a good fastball hitter, and I tried to go in, and didn’t locate,” Lester said of the at-bat versus Kang. “I made a lot of really good pitches today, and as the game went on, I found my curveball a little bit, finally. It [stinks] to go through that whole scenario there and leave one middle and the guy doesn’t miss it and hits a double. That’s a tough one.”
The Cubs are going to have days like Sunday. When I think about it, Jake Arrieta pitched a no hitter and then John Lackey had a great outing and almost had one, now, Jon Lester’s performance yesterday was close. That’s pretty good.
Despite the loss, the Cubs pitching staff still lead the majors in ERA with 2.64 and much of the success is credited with the improvement of Lester.
“This year’s just so much different, health-wise and the whole mentality of where we are as a team and all that stuff. I try not to compare last year to this year, but I feel like I’ve thrown the ball pretty well from the first day of spring training. Hopefully, I’ll just continue to give our team chances to win ballgames.”
The Cubs have a day off today before embarking on a ten game road trip starting with the Milwaukee Brewers. Kyle Hendricks gets the call to the mound.
“It’s actually good to get away sometimes,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You’re at home, there’s a lot of demands at home, even having a young baby at home. A guy can catch up on his rest on the road. From our perspective, there won’t be the wind blowing in the hitters’ faces, and they’ll like that. I think the change of venue, change of scenery, keeps it fresh and keeps it exciting and makes you appreciate it even more.”