10…Seems to have been a magic number in this week’s events. Keep reading and it’ll make sense.
We absolutely love that Cole Hamels tweets! Today, his Twitter account gives us conflicting feelings. On one hand, we’re sad Sunday’s afternoon game has been postponed due to inclement weather (make-up date/time TBD). On the other, we’re low key wondering if Hamels knows something about tonight’s Game of Thrones premier that we don’t! Hmmm…winter is coming…
Sounds just about as good as the Cubs felt in their season home opener on Monday, April 8, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The day was picture perfect and we could not have planned it any better! The Pirates gave the Cubs a gift in the second inning with errors and an intentional walk that allowed the Cubs to score 6 runs early. Unfortunately, John Lester exited the day early with an injury (more on that later). In the end, the Cubs shutout the Pirates, 10–0.
After a day off on Tuesday, April 9, the Cubs and Pirates were back at it again on Wednesday. Try as they might, the Cubs batting order couldn’t put a stop to Pirates starting pitcher Jordan Lyles. Lyles recorded 10 Ks and helped lead the Pirates to a 5–2 victory over the Cubs in the second game of the season at Wrigley Field.
In the third and final game of the series with the Pirates, the Cubs gave them a friendly 2–0 farewell. Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana found his rhythm and everything seemed to be working for him. He pitched a solid seven innings with 11 Ks.
Riding the high
On Friday, April 12, the Cubs welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to Chicago with a spectacular 5–1 win over the Halos. Cole Hamels got the start and proved that the starting rotation can show up in big ways! Hamels went deep, pitching eight innings (giving the bullpen a rest) with 6 Ks. Willson Contreras also had a big day, sending two solos over the bleachers and onto Waveland.
The start of Saturday’ s game stirred up quite the controversy when Angels first baseman Justin Bour singled at the top of the first…and well, MLB.com’s Russell Dorsey explains it like this…
After singling in the top of the first, Bour circled toward second, but ran back to the bag when Cubs right fielder Ben Zobrist threw to first. But Zobrist’s throw hit Bour’s leg, and the ball skipped toward the Angels’ dugout.
Bour then got up and ran toward second, and catcher Willson Contreras retrieved the ball and fired a throw to Cubs shortstop Javier Báez, who applied the tag. Second-base umpire Marty Foster called Bour safe, but Bour inexplicably got up and walked toward the dugout as if he were out.
The Angels then took an early 3–0 lead in the second inning, giving Kyle Hendricks a rough go for the afternoon. The infant season has not been kind to the righ-hander and the 6–5 loss gave the starting pitcher a 0–3 record.
But not what you’d think. After his early exit in the home-opener, it was announced the John Lester would be place on the 10-day IL due to a left hamstring strain. Thankfully, it appears to be minor and Lester is expected to miss just one or two starts.
In the 2–0 series win over the Pirates, Cubs catcher Victor Caratini injured his hand in the seventh inning during his at bat. Knowing the importance of his appearance at the plate, Caratini dug deep and delivered a full-count, run-scoring double. We wouldn’t know until later that the catcher had suffered a hamate bone fracture in his hand. He’s now been placed on the IL and will have surgery to fix the break. He’s expected to be out 4–6 weeks.
A look ahead
The Cubs head off to warmer weather to start the coming week in Miami. Hopefully, they bring some of that warmth back with them for the weekend match-up against Arizona.
- Mon, 4/15 Chicago Cubs @ Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Tue, 4/16 Chicago Cubs @ Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Wed, 4/17 Chicago Cubs @ Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Fri, 4/19 Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:20 p.m. ET
- Sat, 4/20 Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:20 p.m. ET
- Sun, 4/21 Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:20 p.m. ET
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Jennifer Brugh is a freelance writer, content creator and social media specialist with a Masters in sports journalism. Born and raised in northern Indiana, Jennifer enjoys following the Chicago Cubs through all the ups and downs. She low-key wants to live in a van and travel South America. You can follow her on Twitter here.