Despite the Cubs being selected to win the NL Central by nearly every pundit, they surprisingly have not pulled away in the division race.They enter Tuesday's game just two games up on the Cardinals and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers. Jon Lester gets the ball, and he is 10-7 with a 4.35 ERA and 164 strikeouts this season.
Braves 8, Nationals 0: Freddie Freeman hit a three-run home run off Gio Gonzalez and Julio Teheran threw seven shutout innings as Atlanta cruised to a victory over Washington, who were fresh off clinching the NL East. He walked a career-high five and struck out four.
Lester is 4-1 with a 3.97 ERA in six career starts vs. the Mets, including a 14-3 victory in NY on June 13 when he struck out 10 and allowed one run in seven innings. Arrieta has not pitched since leaving his September 4 start at Pittsburgh with a right-hamstring injury.
Not sure if Rizzo had a specific tweet, headline or talk show in mind - or what someone from his entourage might have heard - but the Cubs have spent each of the last 48 days atop the NL Central and the overall theme of the coverage has been saying this franchise could become a dynasty and waiting for this team to finally take control of a weak division.
"We had some opportunities even early in this game, and KB's homer really turned the tide", Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant's shot, which put Chicago ahead 4-1 in the fourth.
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Bryant and Schwarber both went deep for the 26th time, and Happ hit his 22nd home run. "You just can't keep letting leadoff hitters on and beat a team like that".
"We were looking for that one big hit", Maddon said after the Tuesday victory. The Chicago Cubs have lost six of their last seven games when scoring three or less runs. Ben Zobrist was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and an RBI. Contreras went on the DL on August 11 due to a right hamstring strain. The 28-year-old is 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts since joining the Cubs.
The Next Level: For the first three and a half innings, the game was less than ideal for the Cubs. Asdrubal Cabrera touched Quintana up for three hits.
Nido, 23, hit.232 with eight homers and 60 RBIs in 102 games with Binghamton.