The Cubs tried to take the third game of their 4 game series against the Washington Nationals. But they dug themselves a huge hole early, and spent so much energy trying to dig out of it, by the time they had drawn themselves even midway through the game, they didn't have the stamina to keep up and the Nats drew away with an 11-6 win. Anthony Rizzo, batting 2nd for the first time all season, got the Cubs on the board first with a home run to right center field. But the Nationals treated starter Jake Arrieta the way the Sisters treated Andy Dufresne. # runs in the 2nd followed by three runs in the third. Ouch babe. The Cubs would rally in the 5th with 5 runs. The fifth started with Anthony Rizzo's 2nd homer of the game.This was followed by a 5 hit parade by Junior lake, Nate Schierholtz, Donnie Murphy, Brian Bogusevic, and pinch Hitter Cole Gillespie. Wellington Castillo's Sac fly would tie the game at 6. But Scot Hairston would bite the hand that briefly overfed him when he launched a three run homer off of reliever James Russell... And the downhill slide continued till the end. Let's go to the movies.
C'MON MEAT, SHOW ME THAT MILLION DOLLAR ARM. CAUSE I GOT A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF THAT 10 CENT HEAD OF YOURS.
The first two games made you wonder why the Orioles would ever give up on Jake Arrieta and include him in the Scot FELDMAN!!!!! deal. Tonight's game answered that question Arrieta was awful today. While he still pumped it in around the mid 90's he had absolutely no control. The Pitch FX box looked like Howdy Doody's face. He was everywhere. And the only way to get it into the strike zone was to ease up on the gas.....welcome to MeatBall City. 4 IP 5H 6ER 4BB 5K. Not a too good. How he bounces back will be very interesting. Carlos Villanueva and Michael Bowden pitched two very good innings before Everyday Jimmy and Hector Rondon pitched three lousy ones.
NO ALARMS AND NO SURPRISES PLEASE.
So Dale Sveum tossed a refreshing curve when he pencilled Starlin Castro in the 1 hole, Anthony Rizzo in the 2 hole, and Junior lake batting third. And it makes total sense. These 6 weeks should be spent trying to get Rizzo and Castro right above all else. And the only way to do that is to get AB's. Castro only got one hit, but Anthony Rizzo rewarded Sveum with a 3 for 5 and 2 HR performance. Hopefully this continues, perhaps through September. But chances are it ends in a couple of days. For now, I just want to see it work.
EVERYDAY I WRITE THE BOOK
James Russell has been in a funk for about a month now. Some of it might be from the constant use. And some of it might be for how he's being used as well. Most relievers like to know their role and prepare for it as such. Lately, Sveum has been using Russell as a LOOGY, a role which he is NOT suited for. But still, guy thinks he's going to be used against lefties, he works on those pitches. So Scott Hairston comes up, he hasn't worked on getting his slider to tail away from righties because he hasn't had to and.....Welcome back to Meatball City. So nice to see you back so soon. The 7th inning seems likethe right inning for Russel, although not tonight. But leave him in that role and let him prepare for that role....
So the Cubs have to try and halve the series by defeating Stephen Strasburg. Good luck with that. The Cubs will have Travis Wood, their most consistent pitcher going for them. So there's that. Then the Cubs hit the road for late night games on the coast. Fun fun fun. Anyway, beating Strasburg would be a nice way to end the home stand, so lets root for that. Onwards.