The recap is quite a bit late tonight. The weekend here has been dominated by a small roofing repair. A repair, that I might add, which is still not completed. I felt pretty drained, but the chance to shower and eat has me feeling a second wind. The Cubs seemed to have their own second wind with a three game winning streak. Jon Lester stepped up and won a ballgame for the Cubs.
The Cubs southpaw ace surrendered an one out single to José Peraza in the first inning. Peraza advanced into scoring position on a stolen base. Lester got a ground out and a fly out to keep the Reds off the board. Lester would throw seven shutout innings. He struck out eight while scattering three base runners over the scoreless innings.
The Cubs bats didn't manage much more against Reds starter and messenger from the future Cody Reed. The Cubs first rally was a two out variety in the second inning. Willson Contreras singled and Victor Caratini was hit by a pitch, but Jon Lester struck out looking to end the rally. Albert Almora Jr. walked and that occurence by itself deserves a mention, but that was the sum total of the offense in the third inning. The Cubs best chance against Reed came in the fourth. Dave Bote walked and Addison Russell chopped an infield single to lead off the frame. The next three Cubs made outs as Reed completed five scoreless frames of his own. He struck out ten Cubs while matching Lester.
The Cubs lefty ran into his most challenging inning in the sixth. Billy Hamilton drew the one out walk, and promptly stole second. He was thrown out trying to reach third for the second out. Peraza struck out looking to end the inning. Joey Votto walked to lead off the seventh inning, but Eugenio Suárez struck out swinging for Lester's eighth punch out. Phillip Ervin bounched into the inning ending double play.
The Cubs broke the deadlock in the sixth inning. Sal Romano took over for Cody Reed. Javier Báez singled back up the middle to start the inning. He moved to second on a David Bote groundout, and the Cubs were in danger of squandering another scoring chance when Addison Russell struck out. Willson Contreras shot the ball the other way to drive in Báez for the first and only tally of the game.
Justin Wilson pitched around a one out single in the eighth inning to keep the Cubs in front. Jesse Chavez entered the game in the ninth inning. Scooter Gennett pinch hit and flew out to start the inning, but Peraza knocked a solid base hit. Maddon switched to Randy Rosario, and the lefty retired Votto. That set up the full TLR and the easiest of saves for Steve Cishek. The veteran righty is setting a career high in appearances with each time out, but he did the trick against the slugging third sacker Suárez. The Cubs notched win number 87, and with a Brewers loss have gained the slightest amount of breathing room.
Who needs offdays?