In a game that felt more like a cricket match, a bad cricket match, the Cubs managed to squander 14 hits while getting a very rare clunker from starter Travis wood in losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game supposedly only went three and a half hours but it felt twice as long. Some of that was due to home plate Umpire Alan Porter's interpretive strike zone and getting in the face of anyone who dared cross his path. Porter not only had words with Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, but wound up ejecting Dodger second baseman Mark Ellis and manager Don Mattingly as well. HOW DARE YUH TROW OUT DONNIE BAWLGAME!!!!!! The Dodgers scored in the first when the ever-impressive Yasiel Puig singled home Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs would answer in the second with a Darwin Barney double scoring Cole Gillespie. But the Dodgers tagged Wood for two in the third and two in the fourth. And while Cole Gillespie would double home Starlin Castro, the Cubs would get no closer. Let's turn our head and cough....
HOPE FLOATS. WOOD DOESN'T.
Travis Wood was Winnie Cooper level flat today. He's obviously allowed an off day. But Wood clearly got aggravated by Porter's undulating strike zone. And instead of throwing balls to contact, he started walking people. 5 walks in three and a third innings- that's not your typical Travis. Nor was the 7 hits and 5 ER in those 3.1. Michael Bowden bailed out Wood. Eduardo Sanchez had a tumultuous two innings. I know I had to see James Russel again so I was glad to see him pitch another inning. Blake Parker struck out the side and Pedro Strop got an inning too. Anyone else wanna pitch?
So Junior Lake continues to be entertaining. Lake became the first Cub to have multiple 4 hit games in his first 16 games since 1916 and the first baseball player to do it since Bo Hart.......Bo Hart. Bo........ Nevermind. Lake seems to have risen to the challenge to try and match wonderkid Yasiel Puig. Although Puig himself has been pretty darn fun to watch as he might have the best arm in major league baseball. Still, Lake getting 4 hits off a lefty refreshing to see, as the Cubs as a team usually don't get 4 hits off a lefty.
WHAT THE HELL'S GOING ON AROUND HERE?!!!??!
For some reason, the Cubs have gotten sloppy this week. Dejesus makes a bad read on a ball that eventually goes over him for a run. Julio Borbon tries to advance on a pass ball in the 9th despite his team being down 4 runs. Darwin Barney let a ball go under his glove. These are more the trademarks of a Quade team. Not a Dale Sveum team. I think all the buzz surrounding the trade deadline and all the quotes from Hoyer and Epstien has the team just a tad off kilter. It should settle down now that the deadline has passed. But Sveum might want to take a minute and settle his team down. It was playing well just a week ago. Best to nip this crap in the bud now....
So that happened. Tomorrow's game can't come fast enough. Good time for Samardzija to throw the team on his back. Easier said than done against this Dodger team as they are in a serious groove. Still, if Shark wants to be the man, and be paid like the man....well....tomorrow's game calls for a man-like performance. Here's hoping he's up to the task. Onwards.