The new generation Cubs took the field at Jurassic Petco Park. And it had all the easiness of watching Bambi trying to ice skate. A fourth inning hiccup by the starting pitcher was all the Padres got, but it was all they needed as they cruised to a 2-0 win. Years from now, when (hopefully) Rizzo, Vitters, Castro, Castillo and Jackson are all awesome major league caliber veterans, we can look back at these games and laugh. But for now, we watch, we shrug, we do some shots of something brown and we carry on. To the Lab to dissect:
THE PITCHER WITH NO NAME
Travis Wood, now the second longest tenured starting pitcher on the Cubs staff, backed up his latest so-so outing with an OK one. 6 innings 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 K’s. By definition a quality start. The fourth inning is what did him in. The first three innings were scoreless and Travis had thrown more balls than strikes. In the fourth he threw 12 strikes and two balls, and gave up four straight hits and the two runs. All four hits were off his cutter. So I guess we know which pitch gets attention in the side session. Corpas and Marmol were fine in relief. Yay I guess.
I DANCE, I DANCE, I DANCE. AROUND A MEXICAN HAT.
Brett Jackson led off today and showed why it took so long for him to make it to the majors this season. Jackson got the golden sombrero. 0 for 4. All strikeouts. I think he went to 0-2 counts on all of them too (I’m sure of the first three…). But this is just a starting point. Dale wants to be Lord Sidious and take over young Jackson’s training here. So fine. On the plus side, I do like the way Jackson moves back on the ball in center field. He covers a lot of ground.
COME BACK HERE. I’LL GUM YOU TO DEATH.
The Cubs offense has just been a total Gong show lately. I understand Vitters and Jackson “getting their feet wet” and all, but that leaves 7 other spots. And outside Wellington Castillo, nobody else seemed to have a clue. It’ll be interesting to see how long the Castro at the 5 hole lasts. Me? I hope it ends tomorrow.
So this new look Cubs thing did not get out of the gate quickly. And this might be a harbinger of things to come. But it was nice seeing not having to wait five or six at bats to see a player you really want to see. And I’m willing to watch these first steps much more than the old retreaded paths of old players now traded. Brooks Raley starts tomorrow and hopefully he pulls a John Karonka, who went 8 innings of 2 hit ball in his debut. Of course, it would be even better if he then didn’t turn into another John Karonka.