Well, as far as opening night games go, that was as exciting as it gets. Unfortunately, it did not go the Cubs way, ending in a Randal Grichuk walk off single. But before we get to the recap and analysis stuff, let’s talk about a few things.
1. Dexter Fowler’s slide was not dirty. I think most of the people were joking about it being a dirty play, but just to be clear, it was fine. Technically, yeah it was an illegal slide, but it was not intended to be dirty. He even immediately got up and went over to Addy to say sorry after it happened. Let it go. And I will always love Dex.
2. The Cardinals did not intentionally put up a white ad while the Cubs were in the field in the hopes of it messing with our defenders. It was an accident. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hating on the Cards, but this is absurd. These ads rotate throughout the game, it was just bad timing and a perfectly placed ball with the ad. There is nothing to this story, so stop trying to make it a thing.
3. Pedro Strop’s hat being to the left makes him a bad pitcher. Just kidding. #HatsToTheLeft
Okay, on to the game.
Lester didn’t have the best outing, but it was sort of a weird night. You could tell he wasn’t too sharp, which is fine considering it was opening night, but he also wasn’t terrible. It was a very “meh” performance. His final line was 5 innings, 7 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts while only giving up 1 ER and getting a no decision. He was fine, not much to dig into here. Monty picked up the loss, giving up the game winning run in the bottom of the 9th, but again, not too worried about him. He will be fine.
Carl Edwards jr looked good. Like really good. He struggled at times with his command, especially on his curveball, but was able to work his way out of a very tight 6th inning jam when he came in for Lester. He kept the Cubs in it and gave them a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for. His line was 1 ip, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, and he got a double play ball to end the inning. He looked great and I think Edwards is about to have a breakout season. Strop gave up a 2 run homer to Grichuk, and Uehara, in his 1st Cubs appearance, tossed a scoreless inning and looked pretty solid.
At the plate, for much of the night, the bats really struggled. This, honestly, didn’t have much to do with the Cubs offense, but more so that Carlos Martinez was incredible. He was bringing it and looked to be in mid season form. Martinez struck out 10 Cubs batters while not allowing a single walk. He was fantastic, and on a night like that, there isn’t much you can do. Wilson Contreras was about the only Cub to do any damage, and he waited until the top of the 9th to hit his game-tying 3 run bomb, that was soon erased with the Grichuk walk off.
All in all, it was a fun game. There really isn’t too terribly much to dig into with it being game 1 of 162, so I will leave it here. The Cubs are off today and are back in action tomorrow with Arrieta on the mound vs Adam Wainright. First pitch is at 7:15 on CSN and MLB Network.