Final Score: Cubs 6, Reds 1 – Cubs Cruise to 96th Win Behind Strong Lester Outing

Jon Lester was, well, Jon Lester. His popularity amongst Cubs fans continues to grow and you can see why. He allowed only one run over six innings and doubled in the Cubs’ first run of the game. This from a guy who set the MLB record for most major league plate appearances without a hit.

The best part about Lester’s hit had to be watching David Ross round third, looking like a locomotive that was running purely on momentum. Ross proceeded to slide into home almost like a rock. I think he may have mostly just fallen. It was a fun moment and worth watching if you haven’t seen it.

The Cubs (96-55) proceeded to pour on the runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After walks to Jason Heyward and Jon Lester, with two outs Dexter Fowler singled, Kris Bryant doubled, and Anthony Rizzo singled, each driving in runs – Rizzo drove in two – and the Cubs were up 5-0. They’d go on to cruise to a 6-1 win (Box Score).

Jon Lester, for his part, was just tough as nails. While a lot of the talk in the second half of the season has been about Kyle Hendricks’ surprising performance, Jon Lester is quietly becoming the Cubs’ top gun. He’s sporting a stealth 1.46/2.67 ERA/FIP over the second half. Not to mention, he’s won nine straight decisions. Top to bottom, Lester has been as good as they come.

Stats that matter

  • Fowler is starting to get back the swagger he had at the start of the season – 2-for-3, 2R, 1RBI, 2BB
  • Just give Bryant the MVP already – 3-for-5, 1R, 1RBI, 2B
  • Although let’s not forget about Anthony Rizzo, who’s having an MVP season himself – 2-for-5, 3RBI
  • Lester, Jon-freakin’-Lester – 7.0IP, 6H, 1R, 5Ks, 1-for-2, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB; yes, those were batting stats for a pitcher

Bottom line

The Cubs were clicking on all cylinders tonight and it was good to see. They struggled a bit over the weekend in their series against the Brewers so to see them break out last night and tonight was great. They’re magic number for the best record in the National League is now 3.

Next up

The Reds stick around Wrigley for one more night. Game time on Wednesday night is 7:05 PM CT and John Lackey will be on the hill for the Cubs.

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