A day after Jon Lester allowed only two hits in 7+ innings of work, Jake Arrieta almost matched him throwing seven innings of three-hit ball while striking out ten as the Cubs beat the Braves 4 – 1 to take their first series at Turner Field since August 2011.
It was all Cubs in this one as Arrieta picked up his 11th win, a career-high and the most by a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano , back in 2011 as well. The Cubs starting pitching has been flat-out dominant of late, posting a 1.29 ERA over the last 16 games. That is some great stuff but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t score runs. Thankfully, the Cubs offense produced four of them on back to back nights to help them keep pace in the Wild Card.
Jorge Soler homered in the third showing he might be getting his swing back after a stint on the DL before the break. Chris Coghlan and Jonathan Herrera also produced RBI’s to get the Cubs the W. This is what this team needs to do with the abundance of mediocre teams they are set to face the next few weeks. Take care of business and beat the teams you should.
Kyle Schwarber will get a chance to aid that cause after getting recalled from Triple-A Iowa for Friday’s game with Montero down with a thumb injury. He had three hits in his second half debut but was relegated to a bat off the bench the next two nights as Maddon massages him back into this lineup carefully. He is slated to catch 3 out of the 4 upcoming games in Cincinnati which should have Cubs fans drooling at the thought of him continuing his tear.
The Cubs have also decided that it was time to move on from Edwin Jackson as they have designated him for assignment in preparation to call up Rafael Soriano. While for some this news may be grounds for celebration as Jackson’s results have been disappointing to put it mildly, that is not the case inside the Cubs’ clubhouse as Jackson’s departure caused several teammates to offer their regrets at losing such a positive clubhouse guy, great team player, and even better human being. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out in baseball, and the relationship between the Cubs and Jackson is evidence of that. While he never lived up to his contract in terms of dollars, he did show up to work for years as the Cubs had little going on the field. He mentored younger players and exhibited professionalism even as his performance slipped and his role changed. Still, the Cubs gave him plenty of chances to turn it around, but it just wasn’t meant to be. A fresh start will benefit both parties and all involved have handled it with class.
Next Up: It’s Clayton Richard on the mound in Cincinnati tonight to take on Michael Lorenzen and the Reds. Game time is 6:10PM CST.
Let’s Go Cubs!