The Houston Astros came to town to kick off three very winnable and quite possibly very un-watch able games tonight. Luckily, the Cubs insisted on playing some good ball. The Purple Evolutionist kicked things off with a two run homer in the 3rd. Ol graybeard Alfonso Soriano also launched a 2 run homer. Mix in some encouraging rookie play, a pitcher that wasn’t having any of it, and just a toothless opponent, and it adds up to a 7-1 Cubs victory. Breakdown, go ahead and give it to me…
MARK IT DUDE! I’M THROWING ROCKS TONIGHT.
Jeff Samardzija was Thor-like in the way he laid the hammer down on the Astros. Now granted, this is basically a glorified version of the Round Rock Express playing in Astros uniforms. But you play who you play. And it doesn’t hide the fact that when Sammy’s slider is on, he’s down right filthy. 7 innings, 1 run on 4 hits and 11 K’s. Yeah baby. The only slight negative, if you can even call it that, is some Zambrano-esque tendencies. The breaking of the bat over the knee, trying to hit a ball into the Budweiser building, and an occasional fastball that looked like he was trying to win the big bear on the Boardwalk. Unlike Z, however, Samardzija has a functioning brain and control of his emotions. Fellow bad hair Jeff Russell and Jeff Beliveau finished up, even though Svuem did have the “For sale” sign on Carlos Marmol and was going to bring him in before the Cubs blew it open in the 8th. Whatever. Speaking of Svuem….
SPEAKERS ARE SPEAKING IN CODE
Svuem seems to be sending some messages without actually saying them. First is the lineup, where Vitters was batting second (more on him later…) and Jackson 7th. I think Vitters will probably be used in several spots in the line-up these remaining 7 weeks. Jackson as well. And will “spot” him in situations where he can do little things to contribute. Sacrificing, seeing more fastballs, etc. The second was the aggressive nature of Castro stealing 3rd. might be a reach but that looked like a send. Just finding extra ways to constantly have Castro’s head in the game. It worked right? While some of Svuem’s decisions leave me a little puzzled. I see a guy who doesn’t see every game as Gettysburg. That’s good.
KID, PRECIOUS KID, YOUR EYES ARE BLUE BUT YOU WON’T CRY.
Vitters deserves some praise here. Yes, yes 0-4 is not exactly player of the game material. But a sacrifice, a run scored, an RBI, three hard hit balls and two good defensive plays. Supposedly Vitters is out there taking grounders way before and sometimes even after games. Hopefully he can build off of this game. Even if it’s infuriatingly in three or four games when he gets another start. Remember.
So winner winner chicken Dinner for the Cubs. I know Cubs Den Reader Caldwell will be having a midnight candle light Vigil for that #1 pick which is growing wings and flying to Houston as I type. There’s really nothing you can do about it. That team is a deep shade of awful. So getting right and putting some wins together should be the order of the day Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s a good way to end a Monday. Onwards.
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