Cubs starter Jon Lester‘s issues with throwing to bases is well known around baseball. Teams have been trying to take advantage of it in the last two postseasons, in fact. Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was no different during Thursday’s game.
Braun walked with two outs to extend the bottom of the first inning for the Brewers. As Travis Shaw came to the plate, Lester was collecting his thoughts or fixing the dirt around the mound — or something — so he was looking down for a long time. Braun sneakily strode towards second base before making a break for it. Before Lester could do anything, Braun was sliding into second base.
Braun got greedy, however. After Lester threw a first-pitch ball to Shaw, Braun again tried to catch Lester napping. This time, Lester was ready, stepping off and bouncing a throw over to Kris Bryant at third base, who applied to Braun for the final out of the inning. Sweet, sweet revenge.
The Cubs scored three times in the second inning, the third of which scored on a ground ball hit by Lester and misplayed by Hernan Perez.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.