The Cubs sent their de-facto “ace out against the Reds and their true ace this afternoon in the first of two games against the Central division leading Red legs. But Samardzija made one more mistake than Johnny Cueto and Todd Frazier, who the Cubs are turning into Mickey Mantle, made them pay, and the Cubs wound up losing 5-3. The Cubs simply weren’t going to beat Johnny Cueto today. He was amazing. The two pieces of good news were Alfonso Soriano getting his 1000th RBI, and Castro and the Cubs agreeing to a 7 year, 60 million dollar deal. After that…well, let’s get ugly.
Sammy pitched pretty well. But he was done in by the home run. Part of it is the bandbox design of Great American Ballpark. Part of that is the great Reds Lineup. And part of that is the dork in section 411, Row O, seat 25. (Hi Caldwell…). The Frazier homerun was actually a good pitch inside. But Frazier adjusted and got it into one of the many jet streams in that park. All four runs were homers and Shark did strikeout 5 in his 5 innings. Sammy has now pitched 144 innings. That’s a career high. Probably 3 or 4 more starts. Beliveau, Corpas, and Cabrera gave up one run in relief.
SHAKE HANDS WITH BEEF, THEN HIS NECK.
Game ended on a sour note for the Cubs. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Wellington Castillo hit a gork to left. But instead of just tearing ass, Castillo looked at the ball and wound up with only a single, leaving the tying run on first as opposed to scoring position. Granted, it was Chapman vs. Mather and the game probably would have had the same outcome. But a catcher on 2nd base causes the battery to change their signs; you only need a single, the pressure’s different for Chapman, there was room for more chaos. Travis Wood pinch ran for Castillo, in part I hope so that Dale could correct that gaffe right there and right then.
I’M HOT, AND WHEN I’M NOT, I’M COLD AS ICE. I’M A PROBLEM CHILD.
So this was a real slap in the face game for Josh Vitters. 0-4 with 2 K’s. Now it’s Cy young candidate #1 and maybe Cy Young candidate #2 but this was the first game where I thought #5 looked overmatched. I’m kinda cool with this. This might be the locking the kid in the playground with the school bully lesson that he needs. Yes they told him this in Iowa but he still managed to succeed without improving his eye. Maybe this kind of lesson is what he needs to Go down to Iowa next year and improve his pitch selection. This is a development tactic. Although, maybe a switch to 6th or 7th in the order?
So that happened. They weren’t beating Cueto today. He was outstanding. The only way he doesn’t win Cy Young is if Dusty forces Chapman into the equation, which of course is exactly what he’s doing. Tonight’s game is Raley and Redmond. No, that’s not a country and Western act. That’s the pitching match up. There might not be a wrap for that game as I’m off to see the Fire with bro. I’ll DVR the game and if there’s a story you might find it tomorrow morning. But most likely game 2 thoughts get folded tomorrow’s game wrap. Enjoy the night.