The Cubs sent out their 12th different starting pitcher today against the Pirates, and he pitched the way you thought a 12th different pitcher might, burying the Cubs early in a 7-6 loss to the Pirates. The Pirates scored in everyone of Jason Berken's four innings, some in part to two Cub errors, and had an easy 6-1 lead. The Cubs would chip away with two in the fifth on a patented Joe Mather fielder’s choice and an Alfonso Soriano single. A Clint Barmes home run off of a Lou Reed-ish Alberto Cabrera would make it 7-3. The Cubs would add one in the eight and load the bases with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. But Dave Sappelt couldn’t do anything with a Joel Hanrahan fastball on the edge and the blue flag was raised above Wrigley. Cast off the lines and let’s go crabbing…
BERKEN, BERKEN, BERKEN, ON THY COLD GREY STONES, O’ SEA.
There were some that were mildly interested to see if Jason Berken had anything to offer after being plucked out of the Oriole organization. They can stop. He doesn’t. 6 runs (only two were earned.) off of 8 hits in four innings, walking two and striking out one. No real stuff to speak of, no command, not much of anything really. This guy is basically filling a seat till the star gets back from the john at the Oscars. I personally am looking forward to reading a book while he makes his next start. Dolis came on and had a nice inning. Jeff Beliveau would be a little less impressive. Alberto Cabrera would be a little less impressive than that. And Bowden was fine but so what to close.
IT’S THE PURPLE EVOLUTIONIST BABY!!!!!
While Wellington Castillo was throwing pickoffs to first basemen who weren’t there and Josh Vitters was auditioning for Cirque De Soleil at third, Darwin Barney was putting on a clinic on how to be a gold glove second baseman. In the 5th, Barney went deep in the whole to his left, fielded Pedro Alvarez’s groundball, 360’d and made a perfect throw to get him. Barney would top it in the next inning, going out on a cheap Clint Barmes fly ball and robbing him of a bloop hit while avoiding an oncoming Dave Sappelt. Barney must be a shoe in for a gold glove, and if Theo/Jed/ Dale is going to harp on the Cub Way/ Defense is important/hustle/effort than you have to reward the guy who is the epitome of what you speak. So I’m assuming Barney is going to be around awhile.
GOOD FEELINGS WON’T YOU STAY WITH ME, JUST A LITTLE LONGER…
We’re constantly looking for some things to feel positive about and to me there was three today that when you combine them; give you an overall good vibe. The first was Jorge Soler’s workout today at Wrigley field. The kid is just a monster. Two or three years away but still. To see all that mature. Wow. The second was listening to Dale Sveum’s comments about Starlin Castro. You can read the comments here. You not only get a sense that Castro could be a hitting STAR, but you really get the sense that Sveum has a plan and really know how to groom hitters. And the third was the ninth inning. Every at bat was a grindy, make the pitcher earn it, at bat. Yeah, it came up short and you would have liked to see Sappelt foul that last fastball off, but the approach was spot on. Combine these things and it might be something awesome this way comes.
This game looked like it was going to be a laugher and it wasn’t. And Hanrahan was wild enough that a comeback was entirely possible. But the silver linings from this game were very pretty. Chris Volstad will hump it on to the mound tomorrow and this time I’m sure of it. He’ll oppose Jeff Locke. Despite winning, the Pirates are looking for a nice piece of ground to lie down on and take a nap. Here’s hoping the Cubs oblige.
One more Saturday night.