The Cubs managed to stop laughing and shaking their heads at Dave Sappelt’s ridiculous base running last night long enough to put the smack down on the short bus collection of baseball players known as the Houston Astros 5-1. The Cubs got on the board early tonight when Wellington Castillo singled home Darwin Barney. And Travis Wood would keep the Astros bats silent most of the night. Then Sori does what Sori been doing this year which is flat out work- A home run in the top of the 5th inning. A leaping catch against the left field wall to start a double play in the bottom of the fifth, and an ice the game for good RBI single in the 7th (he was actually safe going for second but the ump was in a food coma and called him out.). He would double again before being lifted for Tony Campana. The win gave the Cubs a 5-5-road trip. Which considering they lost the first four is definitely not too shabby. Let’s go back where we started, here we go round again.
THE PITCHER WHO
There’s nothing Travis Wood can do in these final starts to prevent labeling his 2012 season inconsistent. But even inconsistent pitchers should be able to keep their foot on the back of a team like the Astros. And Travis Wood did. 7 2/3 innings of 4 hit ball. The only run he allowed was actually scored off of reliever Shawn Camp, who played in the mud for a few hitters before finally ending the inning. Marmol came in and was Marmol-ish for the 9th. I can’t take away Travis’ performance because 71 strikes out of 108 pitches are great. And again, he had a nice difference between his fastball and his breaking pitch, which is essential. But everyone has looked good against this group. So asterisks pretty much outnumbered people tonight at Minute Maid Park.
I USED A HALF MEASURE, WHEN I SHOULD HAVE USED A FULL ONE.
If anyone deserved to be on Picking-splinters-out-of-their-butt duty it was Dave Sappelt, whose base running boner (If I ever use the term TOOTBLAN, please feel free to tazer me in the sac….) was all the talk of Cub hating sports talk radio today. But Sveum did the right thing, which was calling him out in the press and then run him right back out there. I’m sure a meeting took place in between. And Sappelt responded, going 3-for-3 with a walk to boot. Sappelt looks like he might be a good 4th outfielder and it was nice seeing Sveum use the vinegar and the honey in the proper doses.
BUYIN TIME THEY SAY IS A DANGEROUS THING. YOU NEVER KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TIME MAY BRING.
My God, do the Astros take their sweet time during these games. Pitching visits to the mound, 7 different pitchers used, stepping out of the batters box, every little move in the book. It’s seizure inducing tedious. It’s almost like going to a birthday party for the kid you never liked and he would make you play all these games and see all these movies because he never has friends over and wants to feel good for a day. The Astros are that kid. The day off will feel shorter than this game.
During the game, I thought about what Minute Maid Park would look like without the hill. I also thought about how cool it would have been to see Albert Pujols historic game 6 blast in the 2005 NLCS (It was 2005 right?). I thought about almost everything except this game… However, pulling yourself up after being knocked down in the dirt the way the Cubs were in Washington is a good thing. Once again, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs can build off of it coming home, as their record in games after a day off is atrocious. But for now, I’ll take the W’s .