The Cubs started out June well, going 13-8 to begin the month. And then there was a disastrous trip to St. Louis.
14-13, the second winning month of 2015. It could have been better if not for that disastrous trip to St. Louis.
I couldn't decide between these two games, so I'll let you pick, and Starlin Castro won both of them.
June 13 vs. Reds at Wrigley Field: The Cubs had a 3-1 lead going into the sixth, when James Russell (remember him? Doesn't it seem as if it's about two years since he's been on the team) gave up a two-run homer to Eugenio Suarez. The Cubs might have won it in the eighth, but Addison Russell got himself picked off second base after a leadoff double. Dexter Fowler's ensuing double would have scored him. In the ninth, Kris Bryant led off with a double and after Miguel Montero was hit by a pitch, Castro singled in Bryant for the game-winner. This game had a rain delay of 2:48, longer than the game time of 2:39, during which the Cubs showed Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Lightning on the Wrigley video boards.
June 14 vs. Reds at Wrigley Field: In front of an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball audience, Jon Lester had one of his better early games, throwing seven innings and allowing one run. The game went into the bottom of the 11th 1-1, when Chris Coghlan doubled with one out and Castro again hit a walkoff single.
Also considered: June 4 vs. the Nationals at Washington. David Ross picked Clint Robinson off first base to end the game.
June 26 vs. Cardinals in St. Louis: Pedro Strop, who had a horrific year against the Cardinals for most of 2015, grooved one to Greg Garcia for Garcia's first major-league home run. That tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth. The Cardinals loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th and with a five-man infield, Jhonny Peralta grounded a ball to Mike Baxter, near second base. Baxter threw home for a force, but the ball went over Miguel Montero's head and the Cubs lost.
Best individual monthly performance
Jake Arrieta began to become Jake Arrieta in June, with a 2.45 ERA in five starts, including a complete-game shutout of the Twins June 21 in Minnesota. Jake walked just nine and struck out 36 in 33 innings.
Roughest individual monthly performance
Jon Lester was awful in June after his fine month of May. Despite his good outing (above) against the Reds, he got pounded hard by both the Marlins and Tigers and wound up with a 5.74 ERA in five June starts.
The Cubs opened up Wrigley Field as scheduled at 5 p.m. June 15 for the first of two games against the Indians. Minutes later tornado sirens went off across the street from the ballpark as a tornado had been sighted less than 15 miles away. This tweet is from the Indians MLB.com beat writer:
This is a first: raining so hard they won't let media to press box at Wrigley. Francona said it'll likely be split DH if washed out tonight.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 15, 2015
The game was called at 5:39 p.m. and there was no split doubleheader the next day; the game was rescheduled for August. The storms eventually passed and fans who would have watched the Cubs at Wrigley instead headed home or to bars to watch the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.
Monday: A look at the Cubs in July 2015.