The Rundown: Lester Channels Maddux, Reign Delay Theater

Many years ago — I don’t remember exactly when and don’t even care to look it up right now — I attended a cool, damp game at Wrigley during which an ace pitcher shut down his opponents in about two hours. The man was Greg Maddux, who, unfortunately, was pitching for the Braves on that particular afternoon.

The circumstances weren’t quite the same Tuesday night, but Jon Lester was looking like the mirror image of Maddux out on the mound. Even after a rain delay pushed the start back by just over an hour, the game finished right around the time you’d expect. It took Lester only 99 pitches and 125 minutes to cruise through the Giants and complete the game.

The efficient southpaw worked the fringes of the zone and poured a column of milk that not even the light early rain could wash away. And with his team providing more than enough run support from three homers, Lester pitched his way to a game score of 93 that currently stands as the highest in the majors this season (Ervin Santana, 92).

Wow, that was impressive.

Worth the wait

Much like the Cubs’ expected dominance, Tuesday’s game was late in coming. We won’t know for a while whether this win is worthy of any added significance, but it sure does feel laden with potential. Even though the Cubs have imposed their will on other teams a number of times this season, the overall effort in this one felt Sorta 2016-ish.

Lester was on point, the defense made the plays it needed to, and the offense hammered out a trio of homers against a tough opposing pitcher. Up to this point, it’s felt as though the Cubs were just this close to going on a tear. Maybe this was the rip in the wet paper bag they haven’t yet been able to punch their way out of.

More news and notes

  • Felix Pena was called back up Tuesday; Zac Rosscup was sent back to AAA
  • An MRI revealed that Trevor Cahill’s shoulder has no structural damage
  • Sam Travis, Kyle Schwarber’s former IU teammate, has been called up by the Red Sox
  • When Willson Contreras threw out Eduardo Nunez at second, it was the eighth time this season a runner has been caught stealing with Lester on the mound
    • That’s the most in MLB by a wide margin; the next-highest is four
    • Only six bases have been stolen on Lester
    • Can someone please share this with ESPN so they’ll stop talking about it
    • Also, Contreras is good
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