Apologies for not posting a second game wrap last night. But social duties called and by the time I was ready to say something, both John and Tom had posted and carried the conversation in another direction. Will try to fold some thoughts from last night into today’s wrap.
The Cubs showed a lot of fight today. They battled the Reds and came back from tow deficits- 1-0 and 4-1 to tie the game at 4. The Cubs even showed some fight to win the game when Brett Jackson doubled off of Alroldis Chapman, who Dusty Baker pitches everyday whether there’s a save situation or not. Ahh Dusty. However Jackson’s aggressive base running proved costly when he attempted to steal 3rd and was thrown out easily. Shawn Camp came in and threw two pitches. Xavier Paul tripled the first into right field. The next one was deep enough to center by Ryan Hannigan to score him. And before you can say “Huh?” and “What?” the Reds were celebrating a 5-4 win. That’s another 3 out of 4 loss series to the Reds. But for some reason, I’m seeing some good things. Let’s sleep now in the fire…
CRUEL TO BE KIND, IN THE RIGHT MANNER.
So Chris Volstad tried to end his 23 game starts–without-a-win streak today and instead extended it to 24. If you follow a lot of Cub fans on Twitter, as I do, all patience has been lost. But if you didn’t mind Jeff Samardzija’s outing, which he gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, which I did. And you were actually slightly encouraged by Brooks Raley’s performance, as I was, then how much can we kill Volstad for allowing 4 runs in 6 innings. Once again, Volstad was done in by “One bad inning”-the 4th. Volstad allowed 4 hits and 3 runs. I still want to see a better “attack plan” I see what Raley is trying to do- keep the ball down, sparingly use the fastball to keep the batter’s off balance. Change location. Volstad just appears to throw whatever the catcher calls. But for an underperforming pitcher against this Reds lineup…you take it. But the bar is at “Quality start’ next week against the Rox.
I’LL TRY AND FIND YOU LEFT OF THE DIAL.
Seems like forever since we’ve seen young Cub relievers in a meaningful situation. But there was Jeff Beliveau facing Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier with a runner on and the game tied in the 8th. The result was a sweet strikeout of Bruce and a harmless fly out by Frazier. More please.
EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE
Dale Sveum has pushed a lot of buttons and tried different things of late. Valbuena hitting 1st, then 3rd, playing 2nd and 3rd. Castro cleaning up, etc. He’s also set the base running meter back to aggressive. And while some of it has backfired- Soriano and Jackson were both thrown out- it’s a great move to keep this team involved and to keep the effort level, which has been there all season, running high.
Well I think I’ve seen enough of the Reds for a while. That’s a really nice lineup and Jocketty has done a great job making that pitching staff Dusty proof. And Dusty really hasn’t over used anyone. (Although if Cueto is pitching his 110th pitch while the Reds are leading game 1 6-1 I will not be surprised.). The Cubs now face a team more stuck in the swamp in the Milwaukee Brewers. Patrick Mooney tweeted that Chris Rusin is being considered for a start Tuesday. I’m all for it. How these kids play, and more importantly, how these kids are COACHED, these last 6 weeks will still make this a very interesting watch.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.