Refreshed Cubs look more like themselves in an 8-0 win over the Brewers
MILWAUKEE – The lefty was dealing. “El Mago” was racing around the bases. The offense was scoring more, and striking out a bit less.
Nothing like a two-day break to help the Cubs look as they were advertised to be in 2018.
With Jon Lester leading the way on the mound and the offense doing their part, the Cubs easily bested the Brewers in their first trip to Miller Park this year 8-0. It puts the team back at .500 at 3-3, and makes everyone feel a bit better after a bit of a shaky first five games.
That stretch included 58 strikeouts – an MLB record to start the season – and they’d failed to score a run in back-to back games against the Marlins then Reds.
Javier Baez changed that in the second both with his bat and his legs. First he knocked in a pair of runs with an RBI single off starter Bruce Suter, but then he got the sizable Cubs’ contingent on their feet. Lester hit a shot right at Suter, who deflected the ball toward second where Baez was running, but the ball got Hernan Perez and went to center field.
When it did, Baez took third, and when Lorenzo Cain had some difficulty in center, the shortstop took off for the plate. Baez was able to beat Cain’s throw him and avoid the tag by Jett Bandy to score the third run of the inning. The run ignited the offense which got two more runs in the third on extra base hits by Albert Almora Jr. (triple) and Willson Contreras (Double) to make it 5-0.
Kris Bryant’s RBI single and Jason Heyward’s two-run homer, his first of the year, finished out the scoring, yet that wasn’t really even needed.
Unlike his first start in Miami, where he allowed seven hits, three walks, and three earned runs against the Marlins on Opening Day, Lester was his old self at Miller Park over six innings. He cut the walks to one, struck out six, only allowed three hits and didn’t surrender a run before handing the ball to the bullpen, who finished it off with three more scoreless innings.
It was a strong way to start the second week of the new baseball season, one in which the Cubs were as good as they were advertised close to home.