#Cubs Lester gets start vs Bucs

Jon Lester takes the mound Friday in the first game of the Cubs’ three-game series against the Pirates. The Cubs can clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Coghlan RF

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

La Stella 2B

Lester, has 192 strikeouts this season, third-most in a single season for a Cubs lefty in franchise history. He’s 10 away from Ken Holtzman, who set the mark with 202 strikeouts in 1970. Lester has recorded four double-digit strikeout games this season, a franchise mark for a left-hander. Lester’s 192 strikeouts this season are tied for seventh-most in the NL with today’s opposing starter, Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole.

The Cubs have won 13 of their last 17 home games, and 20 of the last 26.


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The only game which truly matters going forward is the NL Wild Card contest October 7, 2015 at 7:07 PM CST. The game will be broadcast by TBS. The principals will be the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. The starting pitchers will be Gerrit Cole and Jake Arrieta, respectively. The venue will almost certainly be PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

jhosk….let’s gitterdun!

Aloha jhosk, this team needs to learn how to hit Vile because as you remarked, will most likely start for the Pirates. I hope Lester can hang in there today, I see he gave up a hit to Cole which scored their run. Big game today if they want a chance to over take them for home field advantage. Mahalo!

Aloha folks, I cannot stand these “dumb-phones!” They fill in what it thinks you mean. Well I meant Cole not “vile…” Anyhow, go Cubs!

Aloha Folks- that was a hard game. I have to give it to the Pirates. At this point they are the better team. That is not a criticism of NorthSiders, it is what it is. Lester pitched a very good game, I think better than Cole in some respects (no bb’s). But the team did not do well with the 1-9 RISP. They had chances, where even a sac fly would have brought in a run. Or not patient when the count was in their favor: there was a Bryant at bat where he had a 3-0 count then struck out. I am still not sold on Strop and he proved me right again, that was a costly wild pitch. At this stage of the game, the good teams are the ones that do not commit mistakes and know how to capitalize on others. I am not sure if the Cubs can overtake the Pirates for home field now. But they need to play like they can. I also think Maddon needs to take some chances now, so he can see what will work on the road for the WC game, meaning do you stack the lineup early for offense, hope to get a lead then make defensive replacements? If so, maybe you have Bryant-Russell-Baez-Rizzo in the infield and Coghlan-Jackson-Soler in the outfield. We know with Arrieta on the mound most likely Montero is the backstop. Well, tomorrow is another game. Take care now. Mahalo!

On a really gooood note because I didn’t know where to comment this but I just really needed to brag for Schwarber’s catch. That was soooo beautiful and amazing! 🙌

Lester is pitching like the very good pitcher I thought him to be (and petrey10 if I am not mistaken). I think it was jhosk thinking he underperformed this year? I really don’t think he has. He has just had a few games that was less than ace quality. Today’s performance is the real deal in my opinion. I hope to heaven we squeak out a victory today…

Absolutely Lester has performed very well of late. When I suggest Jon has underperformed overall, I`m referencing the entire body of work, fonzie. He was winless in April and his ERA was north of 6, and if memory serves, his June was nothing to write home about.

And please do not tell me the games early in the season are not as important as the games in August and September. They all count equally in the final standings.

Aloha jhosk- yes the whole season is important! By the way, are these games “blacked-out” in your area? Take are now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., the MLB TV game is blacked out because Pittsburgh is considered `in market.` But I saw today`s game on the Root Sports Network which televises virtually every Pirates` game, home and away. I will see tomorrow`s there as well. Sunday`s game is the ESPN Sunday night game. The Cardinals lost to the Brewers tonight. Makes it even more interesting for the Pirates. Gives them even more incentive to defeat the Cubs the next two days. I expect the Cardinals to hang on and win the division, but we`ll see. Those two will play head to head soon. Those games will be compelling, to put it mildly. Do you anticipate the Redbirds hanging on, or do you reckon the Pirates will run them down?

Aloha jhosk! I tell you what, as I mentioned above at this moment after what happened today, I have to say the Pirates are the better team. We all know that this Cubs team has arrived early and that is great. The Pirates arrived last year and have had an extra year to work things out. Even with there injuries and some bullpen issues they have shown what it takes to play an entire year. I think the Cardinals better watch out. I know the Cubs have played well since the All-Star break and have done well against both of these teams but the Pirates are taking it up a notch just when they needed too. If the Cubs do not watch out as you say, the Pirates could take another one if not two away this weekend. Also, I am not satisfied if the Giants lose tonight against the A’s that the team gets a playoff berth. I wish they would have to continue to fight for it because I am worried now if they get the berth later tonight they will not play hard. There is still a chance to get the Pirates for home field just like the Pirates have a chance to catch the Cardinals for the division. You take care now! Mahalo!

After observing today`s ninth inning, Cubs` fans will not be astonished by the following: we are dead last in the NL in batting average with a runner on third and less than two outs, hitting .236. More importantly, the Cubs are tied for next-to-last with 154 rbi in that circumstance, and next-to-last with 162 runs scored. Manager Maddon has been quoted as saying about all that, “That`s a big problem for us.”

Aloha jhosk- Yes, the RISP stat is horrific to look at and that is with a person at 2nd base or better. But the runner on 3rd base is even worst. Shows how much work still needs to be done. This is also a problem when you have the young hitters that all want to be sluggers instead of making contact and approach at the plate. I wish there were a veteran that this FO could trade for that the young folks could see, like Michael Brantley of Cleveland. He was the 205th overall pick of the 2005 draft in the 7th round! He is batting .314 with 15hr and 84rbi’s. His career average is .293. We need consistency and clutch hitting on this team. I know the young folks will get better but sometimes it can take a couple of years as hitting is an art. This was one thing I spoke about towards the end of last season and going into the off-season. I would still like to see them get someone like Brantley who still has a lot of life-play ahead of them, not someone towards the end of their career. Well, tomorrow is another test and hope the best! Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., a veteran presence like a Brantley would be beneficial to the youngsters and their development. As I`ve suggested before, it`s beyond remarkable that this 2015 edition of the Cubs has achieved to the degree it has. It`s a testament to the manager, coaches and FO and their hard work. {I digress, but have wanted to comment on Toronto Blue Jays` outfielder Jose Bautista for a while. He has the best current baseball moniker, `Joey Bats.` I love that name.}

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