Pregame: Ohhh. I love those Pirates hats. And I love those Cubs hats even more! I’m a sucker for light blue on uniforms. I don’t know why. My lady, on the other hand, hates it. She, for example, does not like the Denver Nuggets or North Carolina Tarheels. Light blue hater, she is.
-Top 1st inning-
Anthony Rizzo leadoff double: Ha. This dude. He’s unreal.
Happ bunt: Nooooooooooo!!! Don’t bunt. Like ever.
Contreras RBI double: THAT’S how you start a game. Man that ball was absolutely murdered. The Cubs are jumping on the first couple of pitches for Taillon to start. I like it.
Almora shallow pop-up to end the inning: Man, it sure feels like the Cubs missed an opportunity for a bigger inning. But alas, that is baseball.
-Bottom 1st: Cubs 1, Pirates 0-
Lackey one, two, three start: That is excellent to see from Lackey. He had some batters off balance on a few of his breaking balls which is super awesome.
-Bottom 2nd: Cubs 1, Pirates 0-
Baez error: Ugh, that hard double play written all over it. But like JD and Len said on the broadcast, he was trying to be super quick AND there looked to be a whole lot of spin on the ball. Still...shoot.
Pirates strand two: That could’ve been a whole lot worse. Allowing two on with nobody out on an error usually spells trouble. BUT NOT TODAY.
-Top 3rd: Cubs 1, Pirates 0-
Rizzo single, Jay to third: Rizzo can’t be stopped right now.
Happ walks to load bases: Let’s go.
Contreras RBI Double: There we go. Contreras has three RBI’s already. I’m liking this lineup early. Only thing that would make it better would be a KB sighting.
Lastella ground out to end inning: Again, I feel like there should’ve been more put across there. But I’m greedy. Like Scrooge McDuck when he’s swimming in the coins. But instead of gold coins in a world where ducks can talk, it’s baseball runs in a world where humans can talk. Very similar.
-Bottom 3rd: Cubs 3, Pirates 0-
Lackey walks second batter of inning, 2 out: Ugh. This could be bad.
Freese flies out to end the inning: Nevermind.
-Top 4th: Cubs 3, Pirates 0-
Baez leadoff double: Keep the line moving.
Jay RBI single: Thank for listening. Also Jay is 2-2 hitting 9th.
-Bottom 4th: Cubs 4, Pirates 0-
Heyward comes out of the game: Early on in the game, he slid in foul territory to try and make a play on a ball. When he got him had a little grimace and the trainer came out to tape his wrist. I don’t know anything other than the fact that he’s out and Schwarber is now in. However, it didn’t look THAT bad. So I’m thinking it’s just precautionary as they’re up by 4 early. But we’ll see. It’d be a big loss to lose him for any extended period of time.
Cubs double play to end the inning: I don’t know if there’s anything more beautiful that a double play to end the inning.
-Bottom 5th: Cubs 4, Pirates 0-
Mercer solo HR: Well, there’s goes the shutout. That’s a bummer. At least there was no one on, I suppose.
-Top 6th: Cubs 4, Pirates 1-
Taillon replace by LeBlonc: That didn’t go great for Jameson Taillon. But again, it would’ve been nice to put a few more runs across. One bad inning, and the Pirates are right back in this game.
-Bottom 6th: Cubs 4, Pirates 1-
Lackey gets through 6 innings: What a fabulous outing by Lackey today. He ran into trouble at times, but was able to get around it. I doubt he comes back for the 7th.
-Top 7th: Cubs 4, Pirates 1-
Jay pokes one through the left side of infield for a base hit: That was his second hit on soft contact. But he’s 3-3 in the 9 hole. That’s solid. And gives Rizzo a chance to knock one in as the leadoff guy. I bet Rizz get a RBI double here.
Rizzo 2-run homer: Hellllllllllll yeah!! I don’t mind being wrong there. That ball was crushed to right center. It also was his 150th career homerun. Good for him.
Schwarber 2-out double: Man, it’s good to see him swing the bat again. He hit that one pretty hard over the shift in right.
-Bottom 7th: Cubs 6, Pirates 1-
Cubs double play to end the inning: Ahhhh. It’s just so sexy.
-Top 8th: Cubs 6, Pirates 1-
Arrieta pinch-hit: Ha, the cute Pirates fans are booing him. That’s adorable.
-Top 9th: Cubs 6, Pirates 1-
Rizzo up, needs a triple for the cycle: C'mon, Tony. One time for the kid.
Freese diving play to take away a hit from Rizzo: Well, it wasn't going to be a triple, but that sure is a bummer.
Happ solo homerun: I love Ian Happ. He just crushed a ball to centerfield from the right side of the plate (all of his other homers were from the left of the plate, I believe). It's now his 6th homerun in his last 9 starts (per the telecast). Woo hoo!
-Bottom 9th: Cubs 7, Pirates 1-
Duensing on to close out the game: Alright, no funny business. Let's win and get the hell out of Pittsburgh.
Grounder to LaStella at third to end the game: Boom! Cubs win! Back to Chicago to play the Padres.
Cubs win a series ON THE ROAD!
The road victories have been hard to come by this year. In fact they haven't won a road series since late April when they played the Pirates. That's not great. But hey, you gotta start somewhere. Let's see if they can keep this going.
When do you stop hitting Rizzo at leadoff?
I don’t think there was anyone that follows this Cubs team that thought the Rizzo-hitting-leadoff-experiment would last more than 2 games. But here we are. Before today’s game, since taking over the leadoff spot leading on June 18th, Rizzo had a slash line of .368/.478/.789. He also had 2 homeruns, 2 doubles, and 6 RBIs. Today, he added another homerun, another double, and 2 more RBIs. The man is straight raking right now. So, to answer the question of when you stop hitting him leadoff? I don’t think you do.
The Cubs are calling Heyward’s injury a “left hand abrasion.” Hopefully this isn’t a serious thing. And I don’t think it will be. An abrasion is a lot better news than any structural or internal damage on the wrist. I’m sure it’s simply hard to throw a baseball with a huge scrape on your hand. I’d imagine he’s out for a game or two while it scabs up. But I’m not doctor. In fact, I’m no where close to being a doctor. You know who’s closer to being a doctor than me? Almost everyone. But my point is that you can trust me on my Heyward injury analysis.
Three Stars of the Game:
Third Star: John Lackey (6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K)
Great outing from the Cubs starter.
Second Star: Willson Contretras (3-5, 3 RBI)
He loves Father's Day.
First Start: Anthony Rizzo (3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)
Never stop leading off.