The Cubs tried to double their fun against the lowly Astros Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. But the Cubs refused to take advantage of certain situations and opened the door just enough to let the Astros in. And the result was a bite on the ol' bee-hind. The Cubs got out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a 2 RBI single by Luis Valbuena in the third and a Nate Schierholtz home run in the 6th. But Travis Wood would give it all back when he soft served a fastball to JD Martinez,, who put it in the LE ft field bleachers. Travis' punishment for that was to sit in the dugout and watch his bullpen try and win it for him. That....um...that didn't happen. In the 9th, Justin maxwell led off the ninth with a double and scored on a Ronny Cedeno squeeze. Shocking to the Cubs, who certainly weren't expecting a bunt. And shocking to the fans, who couldn't believe Ronny Cedeno is still in baseball. But he is and he did and the Cubs wind up on the Donkey end of the 4-3 game. Let's go Hawks.
THE PITCHER WHO
Travis Wood's performance wasn't terrible. But you hate the way it ended.3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. Travis also walked one while striking out 5. That's a quality start. But still that 6th inning went pear shape. So much so that even though Wood only threw 89 pitches, Dale removed him after the first sign of trouble in the 7th. That pitch to Martinez really stung. Yes, it was in but not in enough and easy to track. And Houston tracked it right over the wall. Camp and parker held it down until the Savebot 6300 gave up the winning run.
SEND IN THE CLOWNS
If you missed any inning during this wonderful tilt, here's hoping it was the 8th. Both teams tried like hell to win it, and give it away, and were unsuccessful at both. Soriano led off with a double and Rizzo was intentionally walked. Soriano was then picked off second. I mean he wasn't, he was clearly safe, but the play was a lot closer than it should have been and the ump just called him out. Naturally Sweeny gets a hit and Rizzo falls rounding second before heading back. And even though the Astros over threw two players, nobody advanced. Wellington Castillo walked to load the bases. Then Darwin Barney clearly drew a walk only to have the home plate umpire establish his awfulness by calling it a strike. Barney then must have felt he had to enlarge his strike zone and weekly flew out to center. Yick.
While Castro made his 12th error and Castillo got an error for throwing the ball into Centerfield on an attempted stolen base, the Cubs defense look much improved today. Valbuena made several good plays, including one that lead to a picture-esque 5-4-3 double play. And Castro redeemed himself with an incredible play up the middle in the 4th. More of this.
Well, you sure don't like to see the Cubs handing away victories to teams they're better than. Because there aren't that many teams that they're better than. But if the "Big Sell Off" is coming, Schierholtz and Travis Wood both made nice cases to opposing GM's should they want to go that route. Theo has put his guitar down so things will hopefully pick up on that front. Shark takes the bump tomorrow as the Cubs go for the series win. I'll take that. Anyway, it's almost hockey time....so onwards.