The Cubs came back to town after going on a 1-6 road trip, took on the very unfortunate Colorado Rockies and immediately outdrew the White Sox-Yankees crowd. They also played a baseball game in which the Cubs held an opponent, came from behind, and nailed down a win. It’s true. Saw it happen. With the Rockies ahead 3-0, Alfonso Soriano, perhaps the Cubs MVP, literally got the offense started with a solo homerun in the 5th inning. It was the Cubs first hit of the game. Wellington Castillo and Brett Jackson, who we’ll talk about later, tied it up with solo home runs themselves. In the 8th, a Luis Valbuena double, a Joe Mather single (It’s true, saw it happen.), and some hilariously entertaining, Mike Quade-esque defense by the Rockies would make it 5-3. And Carlos Marmol, in the unfamiliar position of actually getting a save, would nail it down for the north side 9. Let’s head out on the highway and look for some adventure.
SWIMMING WITH SHARK.
Jeff Samrdzija started out a little too straight, a little inconsistent, and a tad hittable, giving up runs in each of the first three innings. But, like a true front of the line starter, regained his composure and shut the Rockies down, giving up only two hits the remaining four innings. Final line for Shark- 7 IP. 6 h, 3R, 2ER, 2W and 7 K. Samardzija has already talked about next spring training. Which leads me to believe the big shutdown is on the horizon. My guess, and it’s just a guess- the next game Shark wins, is the last game he pitches. Russell, Camp, and Marmol- AKA “the usual” held it down and locked it up for the Cubs.
AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THESE MEDDLING KIDS.
Two Possible pieces of the future stepped up today.
Wellington Castillo- Beef appears to have taken that “progress” step that we’d like to see in the other kids. The two biggest features that shined today: his power with the bat, and his arm behind the plate. That throw out of DJ Lemahieu had a “Not today, not ever.” kind of quickness to it. He definitely needs to work on framing pitches and other aspects of his game, but Beef appears to be on his way to something we don’t have to worry about.
Brett Jackson- OK, ridiculously small sample size, but Brett Jackson ties up this eventual victory with a HR. The win before that, against the Reds, Jackson got his first HR. The win before that, against the Astros, Jackson went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Yes, between those wins were a ton of L’s and K’s. And the numbers are, and probably will be, fairly gruesome. But visually, strides have been made between today’s #7 and the one that flailed away in LA. And that “ I get hits, we win games” mentality has to be a positive for Jackson, and everybody else going forward. Straw grasped.
I’M NOT A REAL BASEBALL MANAGER. BUT I PLAY ONE ON THE COLORADO ROCKIES.
Jim Tracey’s Dodgers went flush, his Pirates got the gong and the hook, and now I present the 2012 Colorado Rockies. While it’s nice to see Lemahieu and Colvin shining under a fresh start, the defense and this new 75 pitch limit on his starters, allowing all kinds of hitting opportunities for opponents, will bring this Rockies team and most likely Jim Tracey’s pro managing career, to a thud-like finish. To those dreaming of the 2nd pick in the draft, the Caldwellian Clan as I like to call them, these Rockies are not going to give it up without a fight.
Yay! A win. The wraps get a little giddier when the Cubs win. But I’m cool with that. As Tom Petty says “if there’s some sunshine baby, I’m gonna get out in it.” And who knows when the next one comes. Hopefully tomorrow, when Brooks Raley goes up against Alex White.