That’s how you like them. Easy enough in front of no one. It wasn’t that long ago that Pirates fans were trying to taunt Jake Arrieta about their atmosphere. Now they’re nowhere to be found. Things can turn on you quick.
Lots of little things to point out about this one, so we’ll just pick them off one by one.
-Ian Happ continues his resurgence with a three-hit game. He also threw out Jordy Mercer at the plate in the second from “center,” though thanks to to playing in for Jameson Taillon the throw wasn’t that much father than the one he’s used to from second. The even more positive thing about Happ’s night is his last two hits were off a curve and a change, though neither were particularly well placed. Buthe’s recognizing pitches better, and if he can continue this roll suddenly the Cubs are going to have yet another terrifying weapon in the playoffs.
-It was not vintage Jon Lester, and the hope is that we can chalk that up to it just being the second start since his injury layoff. Again, the velocity is where you’d want it to be, just not quite the accuracy. Still, where it looked like the Cubs wouldn’t get even five out of Lester he was able to buzzsaw through the final two innings. Hopefully that was finding his rhythm more than the Pirates packing up the cats and running out the clock. Luckily for Lester, he’ll get the dumpster runoff of whatever is left of the Mets next. That’s a good way to get healthy there.
-Ben Zobrist has been pretty good the last five weeks, despite my bitching. Because that’s how it goes. .270/.351/.400 isn’t quite the power you’d hope for, but it’s good enough. Especially if he’s a place-setter for what’s behind him. Wouldn’t be surprised if you see Zobes and Happ switch spots from where you saw them tonight.
-I’ve really had enough of Felix Pena. I don’t care what the lead is.
-We’re getting really close to Javy just straight stealing home. You know he wants to. Probably after the Cubs clinch. I can’t wait.
-The Cards lost, the Brewers didn’t play. The Cubs hold a five-game lead. It’s time to end the Brewers’ interest in all this this weekend. The Cards will get theirs the next weekend. Enough of this.
-A split is just south of what we would have wanted. Make it up in the next three. Onwards…