CHICAGO, IL – World. Champions. It still has a nice ring to it. Get it? Because of the rings given out tonight?.. You get it. Anyway, today will go down in Cubs history as a very special day, one in which the Cubs finally receive their long awaited championship jewelry.
Haven’t seen the hardware yet? Check it out:
Has a nice ring to it. pic.twitter.com/zH3wuh8qgy
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 12, 2017
Do you think the Dodgers are sick of the Cubs yet? I mean, they have to be, right? First the Cubs beat them in the National League Championship Series last season. Then on Monday they are forced to sit through a long rain delay while the Cubs players take turns raising the championship banner in the bleachers. And if they didn’t want to watch that, they had the rare opportunity to watch ex-catcher David Ross dance on the big screen during his Dancing With the Stars segment. And finally today they had to sit through the World Series ring awarding ceremony. I know if I was a Dodgers fan I’d be frustrated, but I’m not, so who cares.
Believe it or not, there was a baseball game played tonight. After all the smiles, laughs and hugs, the game finally got underway. Tonight’s pitching matchup featured John Lackey throwing for the Cubs and Brandon McCarthy for the Dodgers, both posting a 1-0 mark on the year.
Right fielder Andrew Toles unloading some of his built up animosity toward the Cubs in the first at-bat of the game, launching a home run to right field. The Dodgers made it known that they don’t care for the World Series shenanigans, they’re here to play ball.
John Lackey settled in following the opening inning gaffe, only allowing 4 hits through 6.0 innings of work. Lackey had a season high 10 K’s while only walking 3 batters. Brandon McCarthy was equally impressive, if not more impressive. He successfully held the Cubs power lineup in check for 5.2 innings, only giving up 4 hits in the process.
I wish there was more to report, but the Cubs were really held in check tonight. The Cubs only reached second base a few times tonight, with no serious scoring threats occurring.
In the eighth, the Albert Almora Jr. pinch-hit for pitcher Mike Montgomery and made it safely to second on an error by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Jon Jay stepped up to the plate and dug in for a long, very long, 11 pitch at-bat. But it ended with Jay striking out, continuing his hitless night. After the Jay at-bat, pitcher Ross Stripling was relieved by Luis Avilan to face Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber had to opportunity to score the runner on second, salvaging the Cubs historic night. But Avilan won the matchup, striking Schwarber out on 4 pitches.
Hector Rondon worked the ninth for the Cubs, giving up a run on a drop third strike by Toles. Willson Contreras was credited with a throwing error in the process which ultimately allowed Chase Utley to score. Justin Grimm eventually relieved Rondon who left with an apparent injury.
Kenley Jansen held the Cubs power hitters intact during the ninth inning, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 win.
John Lackey: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1R/1ER, 3 BB, 10 K
Brandon McCarthy: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0R/0ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Andrew Toles: 2-5, HR, R, RBI
The Cubs received their championship rings, which is about the only good thing that happened today. But John Lackey pitched well again, giving Cubs enthusiasts hope that the veteran can remain effective.
The offense was held in check today, something Cubs supporters hope to avoid. But tomorrow is a new day with more opportunities for run production.
The Cubs return to action tomorrow to cap off their home stand against the Dodgers. The pitching matchup is as follows: Brett Anderson (0-0) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu(0-1)
First Pitch: 1:20 PM (CT)
TV: MLBN, CSN-C
Radio: 670 The Score