Does an acceptable loss after an unacceptable loss count as progress? If so, then the Cubs made incredible progress this afternoon losing to the Reds 2-1. If not than they just lost. Travis Wood did a wonderful job keeping the Reds at bay. But the Cubs could only muster a Nate Schierholtz solo home run for offense. So brandon Phillips RBI single and Todd Frazier's solo home run in the 7th were all that were needed as Mike Leake and Alroidis Chapman had the Cub hitters swinging like blindfolded eight year olds at a piñata. Let's wallow in the mire....
THE PITCHER WITH NO NAME.
Travis Wood might be the Cubs best pitcher. He certainly has been their most consistent. Anyway, along with "Sorry, I'll tone it down next time...." and "You're right I did mis-spell that" the most common thing I've written is "Travis Wood had another good outing" and today was no exception. 7 innings while only allowing those two runs. Wood has been wonderful. I keep waiting for the moon pounding, most likely by the home run ball, something that bugabooed Travis last year, but it hasn't really come. And I doubt it will. Something in Wood has definitely clicked. He totally deserved better. James Russell and Save Bot 6300 closed up shop.
YOUR LOVE HAS GOT A HOLTZ ON ME
So Nate Schierholtz continues to be a better than expected contributor. Of course, his "fairly good" play is highlighted more by everybody else's "poor" play. Schierholtz had the Cubs only run, a homer no less. Now, the common thinking, unfortunately, is to try and trade him for some "prospect" in the hopes that this prospect might turn out to be.......well.....hopefully someone as good as Nate Schierholtz currently is. I doubt people are coming to come calling on Schierholtz, probably preferring the quickness of versatility of Dejesus. And it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to show agents that if you sign with Chicago and do well you might get rewarded instead of traded. He's not costing anything, and there are vacancies in the Cubs outfield for the forseeeable future. A 1-2 year extension would not be the worst thing.
TOP OF THE POPS.
So what is it with the one and two slots in the lineup that turn the Cub hitters into goo? Castro doesn't hit well there, tried Barney, tried Ransom. Moved Valbuena into the two slot and he was the Cubs leading OBP, and he does kedukkis as well. Is moving Soriano, who leads the Cubs in BA and steals and whose been struggling with RISP to boot, to the top of the order the worst idea in the world. Some versatility might actually enhance Sori's trade value and well..... it's not like the other solutions are actual solutions.....
I'm really looking forward to taking a break from the Reds for awhile. This team clearly has the Cubs number. As well as being a significantly better team. Well Shark tries to end the 13 game winning streak Dusty's crew has against the Cubs in Wrigley field. At least the game was well pitched and the Cubs didn't embarrass themselves with themselves with their play. Anyway, Go Hawks, and Onwards.