The Cubs came back in the 9th inning to win a ball game for the 2nd time all season as the post-Soriano Cubs followed the lead of the Post-Garza Cubs and won a game on the road. Anthony Rizzo's two out single through a stoned, stunned and all around non responsive Brandon Belt scored two runs to give the Cubs the lead. The Cubs had a lead earlier in the game when Starlin Castro's single plated returning son Nate Schierholtz. And Edwin Jackson did a pretty good job making that hold up. But in the 7th things got goofy. A walk to the Kung Fu Panda and a double by Underpants forced Sveum's boys to intentionally walk Belt to get to the very toothy Jeff Francoeur. But Francoeur's awful, hawkish, swing resulted in the tip of the bat spinning the ball into right field for a silly looking two run single. Things looked dark for the dudes in Cubbie Blue until Julio Borbon and Junior Lake got on in the 9th before Rizzo's heroics. Save-Bot 6300 came on and got three terrifyingly loud outs to get the save. Let's go California dreaming...
YES THEY DESERVE TO DIE AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!!!!!!
It would be really, really cool to think that Edwin Jackson sensed that he needed to pick things up with Garza gone and act and pitch like the #2-#3 pitcher his stuff claims he can be. That's probably not the case. But what is the case is that Edwin Jackson is pitching well and tonight was his best start as a Cub. Jackson put his thing down, giving up only 2 hits through the first 6 innings. He also only threw 80 pitches to get through those 6 so it looked like a long start for Jackson and a long night for the defending champs. The 7th got away from him, but only Underpant's double was hit well. This is very encouraging if Jackson pitches like this for an extended period of time. Of course, consistency hasn't been high in his arsenal. Still, great to see.
So the Junior Lake- Yasiel Puig comparisons have died down and what's taken it's place is a bunch of rainbow bearded baseball prognosticators wearing "Bill James 3:16" shirts shouting about the end. And while some of Lake's at-bats against Mat Cain showed how rough it's going to be for Lake, he looked absolutely over matched against him in a couple of at-bats, Lake found a way to get involved in the game. This time it was his speed. Lake beat out a double play, and then on Rizzo's hit, before you could say "Thank you Brandon Bel-" Lake had gone first to home. Lake can really fly, has bunted for hits before, and knows how to use his speed. ( Although the base stealing needs improvement.) He finds ways to contribute.. So while the numbers will head south, he'll still do "things" that should have you encouraged.
STOP THE WORLD AND LET ME OFF.
So with Garza and Soriano gone, the next player who's trade value is going to be over-analyzed with every pitch is Kevin Gregg. Ol' Save Bot didn't fool anyone last night and had that game been in 26 of the other 29 MLB stadia, the game probably would have been tied or lost. This of course led to the "Trade him now. Before his value goes down!!!!" And some really cold water needs to be applied here. His value is what it is. People know what Kevin Gregg is. They're not running back to the computer and writing a whole new scouting report. Gregg's value will fluctuate only, ONLY on how desperate other teams are with their bullpen. If the Pirates lose a few games late now that Grilli is gone, maybe his value goes up. But the Cubs farm system is pretty stocked. And getting a prospect that's gonna battle ....Eric Joskich for 4th starter in AA......how exactly does that help? So try and not get too emotional one way or the other after each Gregg outing. Because baseball people certainly aren't.
So another win in another western city. That's something that didn't happen at all last year. And who doesn't like a come from behind victory, right? A battle of lefties tonight as Chris Rusin takes on Madison Bumgaurner. Wrap will be folded into Brunch Sunday morning. Nice to see the Cubs up the effort in the second half. This is a much more focused team. And kudos has to be given to Sveum for keeping the players on point. Perhaps a winning road trip out west isn't that unreasonable. They're one over right now. Keep it going. Onwards.