Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Cubs 6 Giants 4

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Cubs 6 Giants 4

Alfonso Soriano drove in an opening inning run and then followed that up with a 2-run homer to lead the Cubs to a 6-4 victory Friday afternoon.  That’s 2 games in a row, folks. First time, and only time, this month that they accomplished such a feat. It also marked the second win in a row for pitcher Chris Volstad, who hadn’t won in his 24 previous starts before these last two. Yes lots of ridiculous things happened today, mostly in the crowd, where several thousands were clad in obnoxious Hawkeye yellow t-shirts or orange San Francisco Giant shirts with dumb fluffy “Not nearly as cool as you think you are” panda heads as hats. When you wear a hot panda head as a hat on 92-degree day, you’re simply trying too hard. Anyway, let’s kick this pig…

 

NOTHING ROCKS LIKE A FLYING V

 

So, second “good” outing for Chris Volstad today. Not as commanding as last weeks outing against the Rockies but much different conditions: 1) It was HOT. 2) The wind was blowing out. And 3) this wasn’t the last place Rockies; it was the first place Giants. (Even though their lineup, for the 27th straight year, isn’t that impressive.). So you take the 5 2/3 of two run ball. 5 hits and 3 walks is a tad high, and the second Volstad started to lose it, he brought in Jeff Beliveau, who performed his LOOGY duties just fine. Russell, Camp and Marmol humped it across the finish line.

 

R TO THE RIZZO, H TO THE HIZZO…

 

Once again, it was nice to see Rizzo really drive the ball. Especially against Bumgarner, who’s off speed stuff usually drives the Cubs bats. (Last time he struck out 11 Cubs in 8 solid innings.) But Rizzo drove the ball the other way for a home run. That’s a good sign. And it’s coming off two games where Rizzo balls were going deep again. Keep it up, keep it up now.

 

EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE CLOSER TO FREE

 

So Carlos Marmol came in a save situation and not once did I feel the urge to watch the inning from behind or under my couch. He’s really been on. It’s a credit to not only Bosio, for forcing more fastballs into his arsenal, but to the rest of the management for telling him, and everyone else, that the plan is for him to be the closer next year. That obviously has had some kind of soothing affect. Yeah they could conceivably trade him in the off-season, but why not build him up (Buttercup) until next trade deadline? Marmol’s turnaround is definitely a checkmark on the positive side of the ledger when we review the Cubs staff.

 

While I’ve come to loathe the bloated, over-hyped Dodgers of late and would love nothing more than for them to finish looking up at the Giants’ hind parts, I’m more than willing to put those feelings on hiatus for a couple more days. What a relief it is to talk about what the Cubs are doing well instead of repeating and repeating and yet again repeating about what they’re not. And now it’s twice in a row. Good things come in threes right? Well, they’ll have to beat Super Enigma Timmy Lincecum to do it.  Here’s hoping Justin Germano is up to the task.

Here’s to a great holiday weekend.

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  • Vote for Volstad for Cubs 2013 Opening Day pitcher.

    Odds are Garza will be on the DL.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Anybody else read that Garza might need Tommy John surgery?

  • Tommy John surgery?......i don't believe it is that bad for Garza....if it is...he just lost his big payday free agency check .

    Lets hope Matt comes into Spring Training wearing a Tommy Bahama clothing outfit..

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    Wonderful...

    Jacob Turner is going to be haunting Theo's dreams for a long time.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It might be just speculation by some writer.

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    I thought it was your sources who nailed the Boston-Dodgers deal. This makes me less inclined to go out on the ledge...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Turner not looking so good either. Velo down, looks like a bottom of the rotation guy right now.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I didn't realize that.

    I'd seen an article a while ago saying that he was pitching well for New Orleans and was going to get a September call-up but, now that I look at his stats, I see that the article was focusing on his ERA. Definitely not very good underlying numbers.

    We did dodge a bullet there.

    Hopefully Kevin Goldstein hates Appel. :-D

  • If some team offers a nice deal for Marmol before midnight....take it.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Agreed. I'm sure they will if an offer comes.

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    Rizzo's home run wasn't off of Bumgarner. The home run was off the only righty he saw all day. He didn't look that good at all in his 2 AB's off of Bumgarner -- a weakly hit line drive and a fly out.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Maybe we should dock him a day of pay for his performance?

    Hey, ex-Cubs Jeff Baker was let go by the Tigers today........I know what some of you are saying..."can we sign him to play third next year?"

    the answer.......NO

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I stand corrected. I thought the home run knocked Bumgarner out of the game. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

    I also should have done a better job of separating The CUBS struggles being reversed against Bumgarner and Rizzo finding his power stroke. All in all, just an awful job by me.

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    In reply to felzz:

    "All in all, just an awful job by me."

    Not what I meant at all. Sorry if it came across as an attack. Just thought it's important to be specific there -- because Rizzo's performance against lefties is emerging as an area he needs to work on.

    But, hell, given how completely Starlin Castro has turned around his struggles -- good at bat after good at bat -- Rizzo will probably be slugging .800 against lefties in a couple weeks.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Castro has had some of the best ABs on the team lately. Him and BJax. Great to see.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Couldn't agree more. I think you nailed it a month or so ago when you said Tejada was the right comp for Castro. Castro may be even better, though. He is a different hitter right now -- I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him locked in the #3 spot in the order for a decade by the end of next season.

    BJax, really not a lot you can say. Over the last 10 games, 11 walks, 12 strikeouts, 3 home runs. Just underscores what we've seen. He is locked in right now. He's a near ideal 7 hitter for this team and provides plus defense in center. (A REAL Major League center fielder. I didn't think the Cubs got to have one of those.)

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    Also worth noting: where has this Brett Jackson been all year? And it looks like he can get even better.

  • Oh I didn't take it as an attack at all. But your points were more than valid. I just use sarcasm as a way to keep it light.

    You're right on BJax. He sees a lot of pitches. And while the K's will probably be high, they're not as obscene as before. And the rest of his game is starting to hum.

    Miguel Cabrera just hit a ball like 700 feet....

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    Nice game and nice wrap up, Felzz.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  • If Volstad keeps pitching well, we'll need to shut him down for next year too! :-)

  • In reply to cubbiefan60:

    Ha! He's been better. He's getting out of trouble-- that's a nice turn around. He used to fall apart when he got into a jam.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is it too early to start the 2013 Cy Young campaign?

  • In reply to Larry H:

    Nope. I nominate you Larry to get the campaign rolling :)

  • The first thing I look at in the box score for BJax is "k's" and "BB's"...much much better, and very encouraging moving forward. JustWin is enjoying the wraps as much as I am!

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