When your team has one of the worst statistical pitchers in the game starting for you, and the other team has the reigning Cy Young, you don’t expect a 2-1 ballgame going into the late innings. But that’s exactly what happened. Clayton Kershaw went through the Cubs lineup like shit through a goose. (Always loved that phrase. So glad I got to use it.) But Chris Volstad was pretty much equal to the task. In the end though, the offense, featuring the ridiculous “right handed heavy” line up, couldn’t muster a hint of an attack and the Cubs took a 3-1 defeat. There’s some good, some bad, and certainly some ugly. So let’s rifle through it before another storm hits.
“PRIVATE PYLE YOU ARE DEFINETLY BORN AGAIN HARD. SHOOT, I MIGHT EVEN LET YOU BE A RIFLEMAN IN MY BELOVED CORE…”
Chris Volstad returned, and according to Dale Svuem, this time it’s for good. And if he pitches like he did tonight, that won’t be such a terrible thing. Volstad managed to stay out of “the big inning” which had happened to him in 8 of his previous 9 starts. He threw 100 pitches, 67 for strikes. The Kapper and Holly were prattling on about throwing more sinkers and sinking fastballs. Maybe they have something. But when you’re 6’5” like Volstad is you should have bigger downward trajectory on all your pitches. Tonight he did. (Save the Matt kemp dinger. But Kemp does that to a lot of people.). Is Chris Volstad back? Well, he was never anywhere good to get back to in the first place. But a good start is a good start. And 5 or 6 more might get him off the pay no mind list.
GO, GLOVE! POINT, AND HAVING POINTED, POUNCE!
I’m sure whenever I get around to listening to Hit & Run tomorrow, that Starlin Castro’s defense will be brought up. Castro was a bit…. Shall we say…cavalier in the field. There was a play where he and Barney had to delay a force throw and nearly missed getting the guy out. There was a questionable jump throw on a double play. There was a throw that Rizzo absolutely saved a run on. And there was the questionable fielding on the insurance run in the 8th. Now Castro’s defense has taken huge strides forward this year. And some of these plays are the result of being overly confident from having improved. But Castro’s past gets brought up quickly, and there seemed to be a little more flash last night than we’ve been used to lately. A simple reminder of what Castro has been doing and should be doing might be in order from our beloved tattooed manager.
THE DOWNSIDE OF HUGGING IT OUT.
Cubs are now 0-4 since everyone hugged Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto goodbye on Monday night. And the 4 games have been listless, uninteresting affairs. I understand Ryan Dempster was liked in the Clubhouse. But it’s not like the players didn’t know this was coming. What’s so strange is that the team was really playing well before then. Rizzo and Castro were mashing and Cub life had a nice little vibe. Now there’s this Zombie like feel to the last few games. Here’s hoping t stops.
So the Cubs try and avoid the sweep against LA tomorrow and Joe Blanton. The Cubs have hit Blanton before. Justin Germano takes the bump for the Cubs. He was the last Cubs starter to get a win. So there’s that. This was the kind of loss that would have happened even if the cubs were like…a good team. But coming off the heels of the previous 3, it strikes a sour note. Speaking of which, the Chili peppers are closing Lollapalooza tonight. And all my friends there are reporting that they’re just terrible. For the Rock n Rollers and the Cub fans, I quote the great Ray Davies when I say, “ I hope tomorrow, you find better things.”