Offense lacks for John Lackey again
John Lackey brought the edge for which he’s known. The offense, however, lacked any edge as the Cubs won 3-1 and took the final series this season with Birds.
It was disappointing, but at least the magic number to clinch the NL Central dropped to three thanks to the Atlanta Braves defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2.
Let’s talk a little bit about tonight’s game.
* John Lackey pitched 6.2 innings and struck out eight batters. Eight. Unfortunately, he also gave up five hits, two earned runs and four walks. Lackey’s numbers reflect that while he may have deserved better, he still could have done a little more to help his team.
As broadcaster Tim McCarver pointed out, numerous times, Lackey needed to keep the ball away from the middle of the plate in order to be successful in the start against the Cubs. Specifically, he needed to keep the ball away from Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta. That’s correct. The pitcher. He knocked a line drive triple to right field in the bottom of the fourth. Oscar Taveras just couldn’t get to the ball fast enough which allowed Luis Valbuena and Logan Watkins to score. I wish Oscar could have gotten to that hit a little quicker. Take a look again.
* The Cardinals lone run came in the top of the fifth as Peter Bourjos stole second base while Lackey was at the plate. Yadier Molina hustled in after the ball got away due to a throwing error by catcher Wellington Castillo.
* The Cubs scored their third run in the bottom of the eighth off Carlos Martinez when Chris Valaika hit a line drive to left field, knocking in Ryan Valish.
* Jon Jay wasn’t with the club for the series finale in order to attend to a family matter. Manager Mike Matheny said the club did have advanced notice that Jay would take leave. He’s expected to return to the club on Friday to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
* Speaking of the series with the Diamondbacks, that kicks off Friday after a day off Thursday. A much needed day off. Michael Wacha takes the hill at Chase Field for the Cards against Trevor Cahill.