The Cubs avoided going O’fer the NL West on the road with a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a win that consisted of gutty starting pitching, strong bullpen work, and timely hitting. It was also the kind of win that made you scream “why couldn’t you do that a couple more times during the year?” But while going 1-18 on the road against the NL west is naked-in-gym-class levels of embarrassing, not getting the donut ( MmmMmMMm Donuts…Ghghjgjjhlll…) is relieving. Diamondback manager Kirk Gibson decided to lift the biggest mustachioed man in the majors, Josh Collmenter. With Tyler Graham. Rizzo and Soriano greeted him with singles and Castro would get on with an error to load the bases. Luis Valbuena would strike out with the bases loaded YET AGAIN, drawing praise from his manager and probably getting moved to third in the batting order for the rest of the season. But pinch hitter Dave Sappelt would tie the game with an infield single and Tony Recker would give the Cubs the lead by getting hit by a pitch. Hey, whatever works. Brian Lahair would single in two more runs before deciding to run into the fielder with the ball. Kim Dejesus’ husband sealed it off with a dinger in the 9th. Let’s head out on the highway and look for some adventure…
RUSIN AROUND THE FAMILY WITH A POCKET FULL OF SHELLS.
Good on Chris Rusin to overcome some early problems and keep the Cubs in it. Spotted a one run lead, Rusin got in trouble in the 1st, loading the bases. Luis Valbuena would over run a ground ball and with the catcher out of position, Justin Upton would score from second base on a ball that went all of 45 feet. Usually this would unsettle a pitcher but Rusin buckled down, got out of the inning, and kept Arizona in lockdown. 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) while striking out 4. Rusin only threw 68 pitches, so it’s fairly obvious that before Rusin ever came up, the game plan was for him to throw 5 innings max. Rusin is all but headed to Iowa next year, unless he converts to the house of LOOGY-ism. But he ended on a good note. Bowden-Russell-Camp- Marmol were stellar in relief.
ACROSS THIS LINE YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!!!!!
Kind of funny to watch Gibson and Sveum play chess in the 6th inning for the win. Gibson made 3 pitching changes in the inning, even though Mr. Mustache was pitching just fine. But Sveum forced his hand and went to Sappelt to replace Brett Jackson. Thus getting the effective reliever (if you call striking out Luis Valbuena with the bases loaded effective. I mean, so many pitchers have done it…) out of the game. Nice to see that even in the dying days of one of the worst seasons ever, Sveum still has his head in the game and knows when to go for it. It will be interesting to see him manage a team with talent.
I’LL BE THE BOY IN THE CUORDUROY PANTS, YOU BE THE GIRL AT THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE.
I don’t think there’s a place for Anthony Recker on the 2013 Cubs, but I like the cut of his jib. And with all apologies to Bob Brenly’s kid, the Cubs could use some catching depth. Hopefully, he sticks around, goes to Iowa, and can improve enough that he can fill in for 15-day stretches and maybe develop a little more. He’s been a modest surprise and after watching Koy-I-e Hill, Blake Lalli and an army of bad catching, Recker’s even keel audition was fine by me.
So that’s the last road game. Valhalla, I am coming. 3 winnable games against the Astros to avoid 100 losses, which is kind of silly- it’s just a round number after all. As a heads up, I will say that I’m watching the Bears with my brother tomorrow night. So at best you’ll get a half drunk paragraph or two so there’s at least a thread for discussion. And Tuesday and Wednesday I’m indulging in two “theme” oriented wraps. I hope for a sweep to end it. But something tells me they might get stung once and the army of stupid can wail about 100 losses as if it’s any worse than 99. But I’m happy to write about a win on the road.
Homeland in two hours…