Sometimes "fun bad" just happens. I suppose you can get really upset at last night's loss. There's a lot to be upset about. Yet for some reason, I was able to really savor the magnitude and stupidity of this loss and channel it's incredible amount of awfulness into a smile. I have to think that a few others out there did too. I mean this was classic right? The Cubs get out to a 6 run lead in the first inning. Castro led of and got on thanks to a throwing error, Rizzo singles, Navarro singles home Castro and Nate Scheirholtz homers to that home run nook in right field. It's 4-0. Junior lake gets a hit, Donnie Ballgame II gets hit by a pitch and Brian Bogusevic hits one into the Jurassic Park gap in right center field for a 2 run triple. 6-0 Cubs. Edwin Jackson takes the ball and you immediately think " Jeebus if he were to blow this game..." and you immediately stop that thought because you know, you flat out KNOW, that it's possible that he could. In fact, just by thinking it, you already set some kind of Karma Butterfly in motion and it's simply a matter of when. Well, not only might have Edwin Jackson given back that 6-0 lead, he dun did. A three run homer from Jedd Gyorko in the 4th halved the lead. A two run triple from Will Venable in the next inning made it 6-5. And another triple in the 6th from someone using the name Logan Forsythe tied the game. Out came Jackson, in came James Russell, who was pitching in his 150th straight game. Venable celebrated with a home run. Gyorko would add an insurance run and the Padres had their biggest comeback win of the season. Hey, anything we could do to help. It was our pleasure. Let's play with our food.
IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS, THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US.
The general theme all year regarding Edwin Jackson is that if you look at some of the peripheral stats that Jackson has actually pitched better than his 7-13 and 5.00 ERA might suggest. But the truth is, I'm perfectly happy being disappointed with Edwin Jackson and see no reason to go looking for silver linings. And tonight's game sort of illustrated that. There were some positives in Jackson's performance. He didn't hurt himself with walks, 64 of his 95 pitches were strikes and with a tired beaten up pen he managed to go 6 and probably could have gone 7 had Sveum wanted him to. But it all plays second fiddle to the fact that he's the veteran, free agent signee on the team, he was given a 6-0 lead on a team that could really use a win and he spit it up. To not know what Edwin Jackson we're getting is absolutely infuriating. He's here for awhile, I don't think there are many more doors to open and explore with him. But man what a downer. Russell and Parker finished the prat fall for the Cubs pitching staff.
BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG
Jeff Russell and Blake Parker are ALWAYS on the mound. It feels like they pitch every day. I'm surprised they're not shackled in chains pitching together on the bullpen mounds singing "Poor Lazerus" between pitches. It's a tribute to the little success they've had, sveum's belief in them, and his distrust of half the bullpen. But Pedro Strop has been spotted correctly in his workload, and he's been unhittable. I can't say that Russell's month long slump is due to his constant use. And I can't say that if Sveum balanced out the workload in the bullpen the results would be any different. But Russell looks like a pitcher on fumes. And the results do too.
NOW JUNIOR, BEHAVE YOURSELF.
It wasn't all terrible for the Cubs. Junior Lake continues to impress. After his hot start, there was an expected splat back to Earth. That hasn't happened. Yes, Lake's numbers look more human, but he continues to get hits and make himself known in games. Lake had 3 more hits, one that featured the correct time to slide into first base. (to avoid a tag.). He also made a couple of wonderful running catches in the spacious center field of Petco Park. You have to appreciate how he's embraced the challenge of center field. Most get intimidated and play an extra 20 feet too deep. The Brant Brown defense. But Lake trusts his speed and plays accordingly. Lake might earn himself a spot on next year's team if he keeps this up.
I don't know why I'm singling out this game as a laugher when it has all the Cub markings- Bullpen blowing a lead and giving up the game, a lack of clutch hitting, leaving a medium size colony of base runners on the base paths, etc. But you can never really know when "Fun bad" is going to strike. Perhaps FB just strikes each of us differently. Well, Fun Bad devoured me whole last night. Hopefully, the Cubs don't like being a laughing stock and turn it around tonight. Jeff Samardzija is on the mound. against Eric Stults. That's a great place to start. Onwards.