Jon Lester cruised through the Phillies' lineup and the Cubs were able to stifle a late rally on their way to the team's MLB-leading 40th victory on Monday night. However, the win - which made Chicago the fastest team to 40 wins in a season since the fabled 2001 Mariners - saw outfielder Jorge Soler depart early with a hamstring injury. As of this morning, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported Chicago was in "wait and see mode" regarding the injury.
The Cubs already had a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Soler had made a nifty wall-climbing catch and tossed the ball backwards into the stands. But it was only two innings later when Soler scorched a screaming liner into the left field corner, grimacing visibly as he rounded first base. Joe Maddon yanked the 24-year-old without much hesitation and replaced him with Matt Szczur.
Soler had been hitting .233 with a .699 OPS this season, with five home runs in 130 AB. Over the last month, he's had some of his offensive numbers start to bolster, hitting .262 with three home runs, four doubles, and seeing his SLG numbers start to rise. Given Soler's history with this particular injury, Maddon had a quick trigger in getting his left fielder out of the game.
"Once I heard 'hammy' running down to first base, I said, 'You're done. Let's go. Come on,'" Maddon said. "There's nothing to debate there. Hamstrings are nasty and he's had a history, so we got him out of there."
--Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
It was back in May 2014 when Soler went through a similar malady, collapsing from a hamstring strain after a nice catch in the outfield. The injury derailed a rampage at the plate Soler had begun just six games after returning from a different hamstring injury that had kept him out of the preseason. Soler downplayed the seriousness of last night's injury compared to those he'd suffered in the past.
In the eighth inning, Dexter Fowler was tagged on the hand by an Andrew Bailey offering. With the Cubs outfield situation already without Kyle Schwarber for the year, fans began to get a little testy.