In a game that was part baseball, part Lord of the Rings trilogy, and part Horner little league flashback, the Cubs finally broke out the bats and took advantage of some sloppy White Sox play to win the last game of the Four game series. It would be the White Sox who, as usual, got out to a 2-0 lead off a shaky Jake Arrieta. But these Cubs, maybe a tad pissed over their play the last couple of days, would answer right back. Anthony Rizzo mashed a two run home run in the next inning to tie the game and would take the lead on, of all things, a Junior Lake walk. The Cubs would put the game away for good with a Starlin Castro bomb to left field. ( Actually the ball landed in the fourth row of the bleachers but since the camera never picked it up it felt like it landed in the Old Taylor Homes.) And that was pretty much your ball game even though it was only the 4th inning. The Cubs pitching constantly looked in trouble but held off the White Sox attack. And when Moises Sierra misplayed an Anthony Rizzo fly ball, the Cubs would capitalize and turn it into a Mike Olt Grand Slam. In the end it was a tally for the North siders. Let's see if Ann Sather is open.
BARK AT THE MOON
Jake Arrieta might be the biggest enigma the Cubs have. He certainly looks the part. 6'4" 220. Chisled. Throws mid 90's and looks absolutely terrified to throw the ball. All game he looked like the kid who was having the naked dream on the mound. Especially when it came to throwing a curve ball. It was like he owed his off speed pitch money or something. You always knew when a curve was coming because Arrieta would stand on the mound, turn blue, close his eyes and hope for the best. Thus, the majority of his pitches were 93-95 fastballs, which, when eventually located for strikes, were hit hard. Ricky Ticky and Bosio tried to coax 5 innings out of Jake but it wasn't to be. 4 IP, 9 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) while striking out 1. Reggie Le Doux (Brian Schlitter) came on in relief for almost 2 innings to get the win.
THE GARZA STRIP.
The pitching highlight was definitely brought by the three pitchers acquired in Matt Garza trades. Zac Rossrup- acquired in the Hendry Garza deal, along with Neil Ramirez and Everyday Grimmy Jason Grimm threw 3 innings of 1 run ball while striking out 7. Rosscup is a tad wild for my liking but Grimm and Ramirez look like at the least they can be solid bullpen arms-and possibly more. Grimm has talked about taking the Samardzija route from bullpen to starter down the road. I'm sure we'd be all for it.
H TO THE HIZZO
Anthony Rizzo has not only taken a step forward, he's excelling. Three for five today with the two run bomb and some excellent play at 1B too. No longer is Rizzo adjusting to situations- left or righty, shift or no shift, power baller or rag arm pitcher, Rizzo has taken a consistent approach. Still wish he had a "big brother" on the bench…. A Giambi type to just talk baseball with. But Rizzo is maturing right before us and will probably be "one of those veterans" that helps the Baez's and Bryant's.
So, thankfully, the crosstown series is over. I actually enjoy the games. I could do without all the Comcast hype and drivel surrounding it. But, that's their job I suppose. Anyway, On to NL baseball and the dirty South. The Cubs travel to Atlanta ( Where, coincidentally, I just was….) for three against the Braves. Jason Hammel takes on fireballer Julio Teheran. When last playing an NL team, the Cubs were looking fairly respectable. Let's see more of that team. Onwards.