The Cubs traveled 90 miles north to face their rivals the Milwaukee Brewers and former teammate Matt Garza. Garza was known for being a jovial teammate, constantly keeping the clubhouse light and cracking jokes. Well, tonight the joke was on the Cubs as Garza made good on his promise to "shove it up the Cubs giggy every chance he got." Garza went 7 strong innings while Carlos Villanueva did not. Opening inning singles by Scooter Ginnet and Needles McGee AKA Ryan Braun and it was 2-0 Brewers.The Cubs would get one back in the third on a Emilio Bonafacio single but before you could think you had a ball game the Brewers scored 3 runs in the next three innings- including a Lyle Overbay home run. Did you know Lyle Overbay was still playing baseball? Well he is. Anyway, that was kind of your ball game. Let's turn water into…..wine-ish flavored water.
THE GOOD HOUSE. BUT BAD PITCHER.
The Brewers pounded Carlos Villanueva like a Marquette fraternity beer bong. Carlos Villanueva's fastball was flatter than a Wednesday PBR. Carlos Villanueva's results were more stale than…..You see where this is all going. Villavueva was awful again. 11 hits in 5 innings tonight. That makes 27 hits i his last three starts and 40 over his last 18 innings pitched. My neck is sore just typing it. He's a drain on a taxed, uneven bullpen. He really shouldn't be starting anymore. Neil Ramirez looked ok in his one inning of work and Rock n Roll McDonalds (Wesley Wright) pitched the last two innings effectively for the Cubs.
WHERE'S EVERYONE GOING?
I've been told since day one of the Epstoyer era that a new breed of hitter is coming for the Cubs. One that works counts and sees a lot of pitches….Well, still waiting. Luis Valbuena and Anthony Rizzo can be excused as they saw 19 and 23 pitches in their four at bats. But everyone else? Bonafacio-14 for 4, Castro 12 for 4, Lake 8 for 3 and Casttillo 10 for 3. That's half your lineup. That's how opposing starters go deep and how opposing bullpens stay fresh.
THE WILL TO WIN
Matt Garza echoed what Alfonso Soriano had said about how nice it is to be on a team that actually tries to win instead of being on a team that talks about winning. Now, they're being much more short sighted and smaller picture than Epstoyer are, but they're athletes, that's what they do. And for all the people who keep dreaming of a haul for Samardzija, what happens if he goes to the press, says " I hate losing, get me out of here" and the trade becomes a dump job…..What if Travis does the same thing? Theo's right….losing sucks.
SO not the best way to start a road trip. The Cubs will try and correct it with two of their more effective pitchers this weekend- Travis Wood, and Jason Hammel. While the Brewers counter with Marco Estrada and hard throwing Wily Peralta. Cubs find themselves in a losing streak again. So playing with some urgency will be nice to see. Let's hope that happens. Onwards.