This is starting to become a theme and I don't think anyone is complaining about it. For the 6th time in 7 tries this season, the Cubs have taken 2 out of 3 in a series. Sure it would be nice to mix in a few sweeps in there but as it stands the Cubs are are at 12-9 and sitting 1 game atop the NL Central, and as long as they keep this up, that gap will grow. It will only get tougher this weekend, but first lets recap the trip to PNC.
Brett Anderson got all the run support he could ask for Monday night with 4 runs in the first, including a Jason Heyward 3 run homer, and then 5 runs in the second including Ben Zobrist's bases clearing double which helped the Cubs sprint out to a 9-1 lead after 2. Anderson went 6 innings allowing 1 earned run and the Cubs never looked back taking the first game 14-3.
After scoring 14 runs the night prior, the Cubs only managed to score 1 Tuesday night on a throwing error in the 2nd by Alen Hanson. Fortunately, Kyle Hendricks was fantastic and shut the Pirates out through his exit in the 6th. Koji Uehara allowed a lead off double in the 7th, but got the next 3 batters out and Pittsburgh never got anyone passed first base the rest of the night. Wade Davis recorded his 5th save of the year and the Cubs won a game 1-0 for the first time since 2015.
Jon Lester was hit pretty hard for his 2nd straight start Wednesday night and the Cubs found themselves down 5-1 after 2. Lester ended up not making it out of the 6th and left with the Cubs down 6-3. Rizzo tried to ignite a rally in the 8th with a 2 run homer to right, and in the 9th the Cubs were able to get runners on first and second with one out, but an Albert Almora pinch hit double play ended the game with the Pirates escaping 6-5.
Naturally, the Cubs lost the game that I was most confident in them winning. I really didn't see Lester having 2 bad starts in a row, but that's baseball and thankfully they were able to win the first two and still leave Pittsburgh with morale high. The two biggest question marks, Anderson and Hendricks, pitched great in their starts which felt really good and hopefully they can string a few more performances like that together. I thought Hendricks could have pitched another inning Tuesday night, but it's not the first time that Joe has done something questionable that ended up working out. The runs for the most part kept coming in Pittsburgh with the exception of Tuesday, but Gerrit Cole was fantastic so all you can really do is tip your cap.
This should be a really great weekend at Fenway. Before the season, I picked the Cubs and and Red Sox to play in the World Series this fall so it's always fun to see how teams match up with each other even if its only April. It's the Cubs first trip to Boston since 2014, and it should be a great crowd especially after the Cubs won something last November. You also may of heard of Theo Epstein, the guy responsible for ending 194 years of combined championship drought between the two franchises...he might be there too. As far as the games themselves go; it'll be Arrieta (3-0, 3.65) vs Pomeranz (1-1, 4.60) Friday, Lackey (1-3, 4.88) vs Wright (1-2, 8.66) Saturday, and Hendricks (2-1, 4.50) vs Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12) Sunday. All three will be on national TV, including Sunday Night Baseball to end the series. It looks like yet another great opportunity to win a series on the road, and with the way it's been going, that'll be my pick. Let's hope they end this road trip on a high note, and the blue flag with red lettering will be above the others when the Cubs return to Wrigley Monday night.