Cubs tried to take the upper hand in their series with the Pirates. But a more talented team with a helluva lot more incentive to win proved to be a bit too much for the North Side nine. The Cubs got on the board first. Nate Schierholtz's first inning double scored Starlin Castro but Anthony Rizzo, who was on 1st, was tagged out trying to score. That would prove to be costly as Gerritt Cole would find his legs and put his foot down on the Cubs offense. The Pirates would tie the game on Jose Tabata moon shot to center field. And in the seventh, Marlon Byrd, Marlon!........Byrd!..... would center to right center field. This would cause the Pirate announcers to scream "The Bird is the Word" and that would cause this blogger to toss up dinner. The rest of the game involved both teams making 256 pitching changes. 2-1 Pirates. YARRRRR!!!!!!!!!'
WINDING YOUR WAY DOWN ON BAKER STREET.
The great Scott Baker experiment went into phase 2 tonight. Well he made his second of three starts. That counts as phase 2 I suppose. Anyway, an encouraging start. The good is that Baker only threw 75 pitches in getting through a very effective 6 innings. And of those 75 pitches, 54 were strikes. Needles to say Baker didn't walk anyone, just allowing one run on 3 hits. The caveat is that all but two of his outs were flyball outs. That's alarmingly high. Even for a flyable pitcher. If Baker returns to the Cubs, I'm sure that's a note "the Boz" will want to address. Everyday Jimmy got the loss, followed by Carlos Villanueva, Zack Rosscup and almost everyday Blake Parker finished the game for the Cubs.
THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY ARM. IT KEEPS GOING LIKE THIS.
Can't say for sure if there's a fault on Rizzo being thrown out at home. But seeing as how it was the difference in the game and he was thrown out rather easily it's worth examining. On the replay you see David Bell waving Rizzo home as Castro was still midway down the third base line. Bell had the play in front of him so he obviously thought Rizzo could make it. Rizzo didn't break stride or look back or anything. Might just be a case of the Pirates making the perfect relay. But how could such an obvious send call be out so easily?
DOWN IN A HOLE. LOSING MY SOUL.
Since coming back from injury, Luis Valbuena has been hitting a robust .208. And while he's been admirable with his OBP andhis fairly steady glove, he's a sub-par 3rd baseman. As a utility player I think he'd be great going forward. But if the Cubs are serious about the BUILD part of the rebuild, a .223 hitting 3rd base shouldn't be acceptable.
Oh well ( One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs.). One of those games where the better team won. And since I'd like to see the Pirates in the playoffs before the Cards or the usual Dusty el fold, this is not that stinging of a loss. Battle of lefties tomorrow for the finale as Travis Wood takes on signing of the year Francisco Liriano. Yeah, a lefty. Over/under on Cub hits is 4.5 and I'm taking the under. Doubt there will be a wrap as my eyes will be focused on the Bears. But the world spins in many different ways. Heck, Cubs might even get some runs tomorrow. We shall see. Onwards.