Ivy is busy for the moment so you get me again bringing you recaps and a mini-preview of the Giants series, already in progress. Let’s get to it…
Cubs vs. Padres
The Cubs spent the four days before Memorial Day in sunny San Diego and the offense-challenged Petco Park, where many a deeply-driven fly ball would turn into routine outs. Frustrating!
Thursday, May 22 – Cubs 5, Padres 1
The Cubs came into town with quite a bang as they went ahead for good on Anthony Rizzo‘s bomb off Eric Stults. Jake Arrieta pitched extremely well for six innings, giving up only a solo homer to Seth Smith (who might be an interesting free agent target this coming offseason). Carlos Villanueva saved the bullpen by picking up the rare three-inning save.
Friday, May 23 – Cubs 1, Padres 11
As is the norm with Edwin Jackson, with one horrible start, Cubs fans forgot that he was actually very good for the past six or so starts, including his gem against the Brewers last week. Edwin barely lasted four innings before being pulled, giving up eight runs as his stuff simply wasn’t doing what he wanted it to. This start, I think at least, was the aberration for the season. The Cubs’ only run came off the bat of Welington Castillo, scoring Luis Valbuena. Valbuena has become one of the most underrated players in the game, despite his pedestrian batting average the guy is very good at getting on base. In a reversal of fortunes, Jose Veras actually pitched shutout ball for two innings in this game.
Saturday, May 24 – Cubs 3, Padres 2
Travis Wood got this start and helped himself by singling in the eventual game-winning run after the Padres elected to intentionally walk Darwin Barney (hahhahahaha) to face him instead. Big mistake, as Travis Wood is OPSing much better than Barney. Sad, but true. That Luis Valbuena guy homered…did I mention he’s good at getting on base? Wood did give up a two-run homer to noted Cub-killer Carlos Quentin, but that was it for the Padres as Hector Rondon locked down the save with four pitches and some very good defense from his friends.
Sunday, May 25 – Cubs 3, Padres 4
The Cubs split yet another 4-game series they probably could have won (the last was to the Arizona Diamondbacks last month). The Cubs took the lead on a home run by Junior Lake that barely got out of the park, but then Jason Hammel‘s hand seized up and he started getting knocked around a bit. Remember noted Cub-killer Carlos Quentin? Well, Cubs manager Rick Renteria elected to use James Russell, a forced LOOGY these days, to face Yonder Alonso, but somehow he forgot, despite coaching in San Diego last year, that Carlos Quentin was on the roster. Why wouldn’t you use Carlos Quentin against James Russell? Russell tried to challenge Quentin, but that was the first of many mistakes as the Padres scored the go-ahead run off Russell and then another two insurance runs off Brian Schlitter after Russell failed to get Quentin out. Starlin Castro hit a no-doubt two-run homer in the 9th inning, but that was it for the Cubs as they left San Diego to go up the coast.
Cubs vs. Giants
Monday, May 27 – Cubs 8, Giants 4
The Cubs sent Jeff Samardzija to the mound on Memorial Day and while Samardzija had one of his more “meh” starts of the season, he still racked up 10 strikeouts and even helped himself with a run-scoring double that tied the game. Emilio Bonifacio returned the favor by tripling in Samardzija, and that triple was probably a gift from the gods as Emilio would have been out for sure had Pablo Sandoval thought to keep the tag on his body. First win of the season for Jeff, and that giant monkey is now off his back.
The Cubs just need to win one more and they have yet another series victory. Hard to imagine!
Tuesday, May 28 9:15 PM Central
Jake Arrieta vs. Tim Hudson
TV = CSN
Here’s the lineup for Tuesday night’s game:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 27, 2014
Wednesday, May 29 2:45 PM Central
Edwin Jackson vs. Tim Lincecum
TV = CSN