They don't all have to be oil paintings. And this one won't be shipped off to Cooperstown/The Smithsonian or posterity anytime soon. Jon Lester had an itchy, sweaty, whatever other-y you want to thrown in first inning, Javy Baez was plating runs for both teams, the Cubs pen was intent on keeping everyone cold. But thanks to the Cubs Death By 1000 Opposite Field singles approach, it was also rarely in doubt. And now the Cubs can clear off "8-8" on their .500 scorecard.
The game today was decided in the first and second innings, and you could say it was an example of what the Cubs would like to change from last year. Less strikeouts, get the ball into the field and let things happen. The Cubs collected four hits in the 1st, with three of them coming the opposite way (Baez's triple, Bryant's single, Schwarber's single) as they simply worked with what Luke Weaver was giving them. The second saw five hits, and a sac fly, with four of them going the opposite way. All in all the Cubs piled up six runs while "not trying to do too much," as the cliche goes. That would be all the runs they would need.
-It may sound harsh on Baez, but this is part of The Greatest Show On A Diamond. He could have gotten Lester out of his first inning jam by taking his time after nabbing Matt Carpenter's liner. But he wheeled and threw without looking, which fair enough usually the runner wouldn't have charged off to take on the British as Harrison Bader (another name the Cardinals just made up) did. Bader scored on a wild pitch the next AB. Then Baez kickstarts the next half inning with a triple (and when he hits with power to the opposite feel I finally feel alive inside). And then in the brief spasm of a rally the Cards put together in the 7th he allowed a run by trying to turn a double play the Cubs didn't need and threw the ball away.
Never boring, is it?
That's the deal with Javy though. He only sees what could be and not what should be, and that's what makes him fun. There is no chipping out to the fairway. There is only the small hole to blast a three-iron through.
-Eddie Butler got a little silly, because that's what Eddie Butler does. The Cards never hit the ball hard off him but he walked two guys as well with a seven-run lead. He gets so much movement you wonder if he could ever corral it or if he did would his stuff just be too plain. Steve Cishek came in to put out the grease fire. He's basically safety foam.
-Carl's Jr. also flirted with goofiness, as he didn't get a call or two he wanted. But he sat Paul DeJong's ass down when he needed to.
-Jason Heyward had a bomb today, and you shouldn't be surprised if his numbers shoot up soon. His contact is way harder than it's been in his stay here so far, and his .214 BABIP can't stay there forever.
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