I'm full of wonderful Middle Eastern food and thus in a semi-food coma, so this may not be the best recap in the world. But I'm hoping that your standards for me are appropriately low-ish and this won't matter much. Anyway, the Cubs and the Marlins...
Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins, Wrigley Field
Friday, June 6 - Marlins 3, Cubs 5 (F/13)
This happened to be D-Day, and I hope you remember your world and American history enough to realize what a momentous day that was.
I actually had to run a mountain-load of errands that afternoon, but I did get to listen to most of the game in the car and was very happy with Jason Hammel's performance, in which he ate seven shutout innings and had eight strikeouts. At this point I don't really care whether the Cubs extend Hammel or trade him; most likely they do the latter and Hammel nets a nice prospect package in return, he's been superb this season as another great pitching pickup by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. However, I wouldn't mind having that level of performance in the middle of the rotation going forward.
Normally when Hector Rondon comes into the game, we Cubs fans are expecting a nearly automatic save. It was not to be this time, as Hector got dinged by the gods of BABIP and former Cub Reed Johnson to allow the Marlins to tie the game and hand him a tough luck blown save. This happened in the amount of time it took me to order some Sriracha chicken sliders and nuggets from White Castle before checking the progress on my smartphone. Imagine my disgust in learning that instead of reading about a Cubs victory, they were going to extras! But a few innings later, Anthony Rizzo did this, and all was right in the world again...
Saturday, June 7 - Marlins 2, Cubs 5
This was the first start for Jeff Samardzija after he was ambushed in Milwaukee last weekend. Jeff didn't disappoint, bouncing back from the worst start of his season with seven innings, only two runs given up and eight strikeouts and alleviating the fears of those who are hoping for a big haul whenever he's traded. (BTW, did you see we were featured on MLBTR? That was cool.) He even got a hit and went along for the ride when Emilio Bonifacio connected for a two-run bomb (PROOF) to put the Cubs ahead for good. Junior Lake got into the act as well, hitting two homers of his own, and prompting one of many great quips from guest conductor Lennie Merullo. Pedro Strop was good this day, notching the save and giving the Cubs their first five-game winning streak in a very long time.
Sunday, June 8 - Marlins 4, Cubs 3
A day after the MLB Draft, which took most of our attention from the game on the field, Jake Arrieta took the mound and matched zeroes with Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez up until Alvarez was forced to leave the game after landing awkwardly on an attempt to force out Luis Valbuena on an infield hit. Nate Schierholtz ambushed the reliever for an exciting two-run triple, and it seemed that Arrieta would get a much deserved victory. However, Brian Schlitter couldn't hold the lead, giving up a couple of bloops and allowing the game to be tied. Luis Valbuena walked in a run the next half-inning, but then we got the bad version of Pedro Strop and the Marlins went ahead for good to prevent the Cubs from securing a sixth straight victory. I guess the Cubs won't be contending for the Wild Card after all.
On the day, the Cubs stranded ten baserunners and honestly should have had way more than those three runs if not for some terrible at-bats and crummy luck. Onward to Pittsburgh.
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park
The Cubs currently hold the third-worst record in MLB, and it's up to you whether you think it's good that they're marginally better than the big money Philadelphia Phillies or not. They start a four-game set in Pittsburgh against the struggling Pirates on Monday evening. Here are the matchups and broadcast info:
Wednesday, June 11
6:05 PM Central
Jason Hammel vs. Brandon Cumpton
TV = CSN
Thursday, June 12
6:05 PM Central
Jeff Samardzija vs. Edinson Volquez
TV = WGN
I guess we'll see how the Cubs decide to play as this may at least make the front office reconsider a fire sale. In the meantime, I'm going to prepare to watch COSMOS because science is cool.