Organizational Recap – Uphill Battle That Could Not Be Overcome
Wrigley Field. Fenway Park. Ivy Walls. Green Monster. Manual Scoreboard. Pesky’s Pole. 108 year drought. 86 year drought. Cubs vs. Red Sox. This series should be played every year. Two legendary teams when it comes to major league baseball…if not all of professional sports.
As for the game on Friday night…blah. After Kris Bryant‘s first inning home run it seemed as if the Cubs were fighting an uphill battle all game. Jake Arrieta did not bring his “stuff” for this premier game. The hitters did the best they could do to get the Cubs in the win column but it wasn’t enough. Arrieta went 4.1 innings, giving up 10 hits while allowing 5 runs to see his ERA bloom to 4.66. Getting his first loss of the season you could tell that he wasn’t near what he looked like in the 3 wins he earned before this start. While his fastball looked crisp, the breaking ball was a struggle all game. The first inning was a prime example. Constantly he was falling behind hitters and at one point gave up 6 hits in a row (with a walk sandwiched in between) and throwing two wild pitches. We need more from our top pitchers and have not seen that the last two games with Jon Lester and Arrieta.
Offensively, it was catch up after the first inning. Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell contributed multi hit games with both Bryant and Albert Almora going big fly. Still it seemed like it was a bit by bit hitting process with nothing big being put together outside of the 2 run inning in the 7th.
While I know that he doesn’t have much MLB time under his belt, Kyle Schwarber has to do a better job of putting the ball in play…especially with runners on base. He doesn’t look as if he is totally comfortable in the lead off spot yet. Again Friday, Schwarber was 1-5 with 4 punch outs. I get it…last year was last year BUT it was also a year where we had a lead off hitter who was able to get on base and manufacture potential big innings. Do we have a bona fide lead off hitter anywhere in our lineup? Nope. But I wouldn’t be afraid of experimenting with different guys. Russell? Zobrist? Lets tinker a little bit before we hit July and the pressure starts really getting tight. The Cubs have yet to put together that winning streak this year where other teams can say “Yep, they are back”. They are waiting and the fans are waiting. Will it come…I believe so. I sure would like to see it happen much sooner than later. The sky has not fallen and we are still in good shape. But the Cubs have not played up to their potential, which on April 28th, is starting to feel a bit frustrating.
Highlight of the Night:
Out To Pasture:
This weeks nominee for Out To Pasture is Schwarber. Since last Saturday he is 3-22. Does not look comfortable. Is striking out a ton. And leaving many men on base while he is at the plate…not to mention not getting on base for our big boys behind him. While he is not on the Out To Pasture level and Montero and Grimm…he has a lot of work to do and also gain a lot more focus at the plate in order for our offense to produce as we all expect them to.
The Cubs will square off with the Red Sox in game 2 of this 3 game series. John Lackey (Former Red Sox pitcher, 1-3 with 4.88 ERA) will face off against Steven Wright (1-2, 8.66 ERA). This has the sounds of a slug fest in Fenway.
AAA – Iowa Cubs
SP – Aaron Brooks – 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
RF – Bijan Rademacher – 2 for 3, BB
AA – Tennessee Smokies
SP – Preston Morrison – 3.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
2B – David Bote – 2 for 5, HR, 2 RBI
A-Adv – Myrtle Beach
SP – Thomas Hatch – 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
C – Tyler Alamo – 2 for 5, HR, 4 RBI