Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Edwin Jackson made his Cardinals’ debut last night and tossed seven innings of one-run ball as part of a 9-2 victory over the Cubs. He was aided by a three-run homer by David Freese, three RBI off the bench by Ryan Theriot and Albert Pujols, who pulled an RBI double down the third base line in the bottom half of the eighth inning for his 2,000th career hit.

Pujols is the fifth Cardinal to reach the the 2,000 hit plateau, joining Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby and Enos Slaughter. With 1,650 games under his belt, the 31-year-old first baseman is the 12th fastest player in MLB history to reach the mark.

Your Friday box scores:

Cubs 2, Cardinals 9

Pirates 3, Phillies 10

Angels 2, Tigers 12

Mets 8, Nationals 5

Royals 12, Indians 0

Giants 3, Reds 4 (13 innings)

Orioles 4, Yankees 2

Marlins 0, Braves 5

Rangers 2, Blue Jays 3

Astros 0, Brewers 4

Red Sox 1, White Sox 3

Twins 9, Athletics 5

Rays 8, Mariners 0

Rockies 3, Padres 2

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 9

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.