The Cubs looked for a mini-sweep of the Mariners at T-Mobile Park Wednesday afternoon. Chicago jumped all over Seattle mistakes and cruised to a blowout victory.
After a quiet 1st inning, the Cubs’ bats came to life against Marco Gonzales in the top of the 2nd. Javy Báez started the fun with a long home run to right field, his 10th. Willson Contreras singled, Kyle Schwarber bunted for a hit and David Bote reached on a Domingo Santana error to load the bases. Jason Heyward made it 2-0 with a single back up the middle.
Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant drew a pair of bases-loaded walks to increase the lead to four. Anthony Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly and Javy doubled, his second extra-base hit of the inning, for a six-pack of runs. Gonzales got the hook after a walk to Contreras and Chasen Bradford finally ended the frame.
Jon Lester would only have needed one run, he was that excellent Wednesday, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing just one hit. Getting a ton of run support made things stress-free for the big veteran, who never faced a real jam.
The Cubs would tack on five more runs the rest of the game. Rizzo hit a high, majestic solo home run to right in the 4th inning that was followed two batters later by a rocket from Contreras that landed in the second deck in left. The other three tallies came via the sac fly, including two off of Seattle catcher Tom Murphy, who pitched the 9th. Allen Webster and Dillon Maples finished off the shutout victory for the road team. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Pretty much everything went right for the Cubs today, with the exception of a Bote error in the bottom of the 1st. The offense was on fire and Lester completely stifled the M’s bats from the start. You can’t have a more complete effort than this game.
The Cubs’ 2nd inning basically ended the game Wednesday. Twelve men came to the plate and six of those runners scored. It also forced Gonzales, who has been the Mariners’ best starter in 2019, out of the game after recording just five outs.
Stats That Matter
- Lester’s numbers were just great in his second start off the IL: 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 8 K, and 1 BB. The M’s have a very potent offense, which makes it even more impressive.
- Báez just keeps raking. He had three hits, all for extra-bases, and his homer started the fireworks Wednesday.
- Contreras reached three more times and knocked in two more runs. His homer was one of the longest I’ve ever seen at SafeCo/T-Mobile Park.
- Jason Heyward registered three more hits and made another just terrific catch in right field.
The Cubs had an outstanding road-trip going 4-1 against two teams with winning records. They are starting to move more solidly above the .500 mark. Take away the first week of the season and Chicago is 15-6. Clearly, they are on the right track right now.
The Cubs head back to Wrigley for a big three-game series with the first-place Cardinals as Jack Flaherty takes on Kyle Hendricks at 1:20pm CT Friday. NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out of market) have the TV broadcast, while the radio feed is on 670 The Score.