Maybe I should just template these wraps. I swear it feels like I'm writing the same thing. Anyway, The Cubs got off to a good start (Again!) and looked to be heading toward a solid win (Again!) when a big inning suddenly turned a lead into a deficit (again). Cubs score both their runs in the 3rd. An Anthony Rizzo double scored David Dejesus. Rizzo would then come home on an Alfonso Soriano single. Huzzah! Huzzah the 4 hole produced an RBI with a runner in scoring position. Keep it up and Sori may be promoted to 9th where all the heavy hitters are these days. Anyway, that would be it for the Cubs. And it looked good until the 6th when Votto would walk and immediately go to 3rd on a Brandon Phillips single.
Todd Frazier would single in Votto and Phillips would go to third. Then Dusty would pull off a move that made you remember the few times when it was so cool that Dusty was once the Cubs manager. He called for a squeeze. And it was executed to perfection. Phillips scored 3-2 Reds. And it only got worse. A Ryan Hannigan double and an RBI by Ceasar Itzturis, yes he's still in baseball.... and it was 5-2 and all that was left to decide was whether all the goobers living in the Cincinnati area would get free pizza, which they would when Alroidis Chapman struck out Scott Hairston that was anything but a strike. Yay Pizza.
WOOD DOESN'T FLOAT
Well, there goes Travis Wood's streak of 9 straight quality starts. Travis was great through the first 5. But Wood doesn't have the great stuff that is going to get you by a lineup like the Reds a third time. So 7 hits and 5 ER in 5.2 innings is a bit below par for Wood. Sveum might have left him a batter or two too long but, he's earned the right to pitch his way out of the inning. Dolis and Gregg pitched well in mop up duty.
DANCING WITH THE DEVIL IN THE PALE MOON LIGHT.
Wellington Castillo had himself one of those "Progress" at-bats in the 6th inning. Down 0-2, Castillo fought off and laid off the next 8 pitches before drawing a walk on the 11th pitch. More of that please. The Cubs are dead last in walks, which explains why their offense is in the rear while boasting better than average power numbers. Here's hoping they circle that at bat and Sveum, Rowson AND Castillo all build off that type of approach.
WELCOME BACK TO THAT SAME OLD PLACE THAT YOU LAUGHED ABOUT.
Anthony Rizzo was clearly pressing after signing his big extension, going 0 for 23. Well that ended today, going 3 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, and a walk. I wasn't even that mad when he challenged Choo in center by trying to stretch a single into a double. Rizzo seems to drive the Cubs offense, and while it wasn't driven very far this game, hopefully this is the start of a 3 week run in the right direction.
So this Cubs team has totally eviscerated any momentum it had from it's good spell a couple of weeks ago and is now headed for 100 losses. What's worse is that the starting pitching, Which had been very "Boxer" like ( Animal Farm anyone?) is starting to show some cracks with some big innings. This is supposedly where veterans step into the void (something I'll talk about in tomorrow's brunch.....). Matt garza is such a veteran. He goes tomorrow against Johnny Cueto. Hopefully he stems the tide. Until then, Let's go Hawks! and Onwards.