Cubs Recap: Lose 7-6 as Dontrelle Willis appears to hurt shoulder

I'm not going to do the usual recap here.  I'll just sum up a few things  Here's the link to the box score for those who want details

The Good

  • The Cubs got HRs from Nate Schierholtz, Darnell McDonald, and a long bomb into left-center from Welington Castillo.  McDonald's was a 3 run shot.  It's encouraging to see the long ball from both Shierholtz and Castillo, however, as the Cubs will be looking for players other than Rizzo and Castillo to supply some power in the lineup.
  • 3rd catcher Steve Clevenger had a couple of hits including a hard single into RF his first time.  He appears to be swinging the bat well again after an oblique injury may have helped contribute to a tough second half last season.
  • Non-roster invitee Johermyn Chavez had a couple of nice ABs, the second of which resulted in a hard single up the middle.
  • A very encouraging performance by Barrett Loux who is consistently around the plate -- yet isn't leaving them up and out for hitters to take big swings at.  He did walk one batter but was really squeezed by the umpire in that particular AB.  He gave up one bloop single as well.  Showed decent stuff and command though he seemed to have some trouble with his breaking pitch at times.  All in all a very nice outing.
  • Blake Parker and Michael Bowden also turned in solid performances with 1.1 scoreless innings.  Both pitchers came in and rescued the previous pitcher from a jam.

The Bad

  • Dontrelle Willis threw just 7 pitches before coming out of the game with an apparent shoulder injury.  It's hard not to feel bad for the likeable Willis.  He was a long shot but nobody wants to see him go out this way.  It didn't look encouraging.
  • Brett Jackson finally struck out after 8 straight ABs without one.  The at-bat wasn't a pretty one and it reminds us that this is going to be a process for Jackson.  He's still trying to get to the point where his new swing is natural.
  • Jorge Soler got schooled a bit on one AB against veteran reliever Steve Tolleson.  Tolleson got out in front 2-0 and then buckled him with a curveball for strike 3.  Soler is ultra talented but the big leagues can be tough sometimes for a hitter who is still honing his craft.
  • Jensen Lewis wasn't able to bail out Willis, allowing the game winning single to Omar Luna.  Lewis has a herky-jerky delivery which seemed to create some deception there (2 Ks), but gave up 2 hits and a walk in his one inning of work.

The Ugly

  • The Cubs had a 6-2 lead when the Dodgers scored 3 runs on no hits in the 5th inning.  Tough outing for young pitcher Robert Whitenack, who was all over the place and appeared only able to throw his fastball for strikes.  He walked 2 batters, hit a 3rd, threw a wild pitch, and then allowed a run to score on a balk.  All in all, he was charged with 3 runs -- though Bowden added to the hideous inning by balking a second runner home.


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  • Bummer about Willis,... was never convinced he was anything other than a 'what the hell,.... it could work out' kind of sign,... but when he was on a few years back that man was fun to watch pitch.

    I certainly hope it is nothing serious,.... and that he is back in training again soon.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Me too. I don't expect him to make the team, but I'd like to see him get through healthy and at least go down swinging (or throwing, as it were)

  • Feel bad for Willis. The whole time that was going down today I kept thinking of that All Star game he appeared in as a rookie, big goofy grin on his face the whole time. Hope this isn't the end for him.

    Logan Watkins made a nice play in the hole at shortstop, it's too bad Bogusevic dropped the ball. And Soler nearly threw that runner out at second on what should have been a gimme double. Looks like Brian Schlitter was that mystery pitcher that Vin Scully couldn't name.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Would have been close on that Watkins play. Thought it looked a little like ump was ready to call him out at first. Showed enough arm strength too.

  • From what I've been reading re: Watkins, I'm getting pretty excited about him. He just seems like the kind of player that the Cubs and we here at the Den are looking for. At the very least, I think he could be a supersub type for us.

  • Hope D-Train is okay however, I'm absolutely shocked that he is still trying to stay in the game. He has pitched poorly for years now bouncing from one organization to another.

    Yes he is a nice guy but, it just goes to show you how much of a premium is placed on left handed pitching and how stubborn guys can be when their skills erode.

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