Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 2, Giants 1
WP – Jon Lester (15-4) LP – Albert Suarez (3-3) Save – None
Jon Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Lester faced just one over the minimum through six innings. Hunter Pence broke up Lester’s no-hit bid with a solo homer with two down in the seventh. Lester allowed two other hits and finished what he started as the Cubs beat the Giants on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs made it two in a row over the Giants behind a masterpiece from Jon Lester.
Jon Lester completed his second game of the season in what was his best performance with the Cubs. Lester gave up three hits and issued two walks, the second with two outs in the ninth inning. At no time did it feel like Lester was not in total control of the game. Lester had excellent command, pounded the strike zone and was incredibly efficient. Lester made only 83 pitches in eight innings and needed 102 pitches, 68 for strikes, to complete Friday’s game.
The Cubs defense stepped up behind Lester and made the plays he needed them to. Outside of the homer by Hunter Pence, the other hard hit balls made by the Giants on Friday were caught on the other end by Kris Bryant and Dexter Fowler. Lester appeared to get stronger as the game wore on. Lester was pumping fastballs in the mid-90s in the ninth inning.
Jon Lester delivered a game that the Cubs needed against a team that had their way with him earlier in the season.
Friday was the 14th complete game of Lester’s career … the 102 pitches were the fewest he’s thrown in any of his complete games.
David Ross (1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a RBI) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI) drove in the Cubs runs on Friday. The Cubs managed only five hits and four walks. The Cubs finished the game 2-for-8 with RISP and left seven men on base.
The Cubs two runs scored in the third inning. And Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) collected the Cubs first hit with an excellent plate appearance and approach. Baez worked a full count against Albert Suarez. Baez went with an outside pitch and grounded the ball down the first baseline. Baez went to second with a leadoff double.
David Ross pulled a 1-1 pitch to deep left. With the wind blowing in, Ross’ double drove in Baez with the first run of the game. Jon Lester bunted a 1-1 pitch back to the mound. It was not a good bunt but Suarez could not get a handle on the ball. Ross advanced to third as Suarez threw out Lester at first base.
Dexter Fowler singled to left center. Ross trotted in with the Cubs second run. After Kris Bryant (0-for-3 with a walk) walked, Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4) lined out to left center and Ben Zobrist (0-for-2 with two walks) grounded out to second base to end the inning.
The Cubs other scoring opportunity came in the eighth inning. The Cubs loaded the bases with one out after the Giants pitched around pinch-hitter Addison Russell to load the bases. Jason Heyward (0-for-4) smoked a 0-2 pitch to second. And Joe Panik doubled Russell off first base to end the inning.
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 87-47 … a season-high 40 games over .500.
Jake Arrieta takes on Madison Bumgarner on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) in game three of four with the Giants.