Organizational Recap – Organizational Dubs across the board, Arrieta, Zobrist
Stop me if you have heard this before….Cubs up 3 to 0 after the first. Yup, me neither. Again, on Wednesday the Cubs fell behind quickly to the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 before Kyle Schwarber saw his first pitch. Even after Monday’s shellacking, I felt good about the positive outcome the Cubs would have when the game had concluded. The Cubs had their co-ace on the mound, Jake Arrieta, and the Phillies were throwing Jared Eickhoff who was coming off a rough showing against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous start.
As with all things Cubs here at the beginning of the season, they gave up two runs in the first even though Arrieta struck two of the first three Phillies out in the frame. The one out walk came back to hurt him when Daniel Nava then steals second to put himself into scoring position. Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera follow the steal with a single and double to put the FightenPhills up in the first. The Cubs answer with a run in the second when Jason Heyward walks, that pesky Miguel Montero singles, and Arrieta follows with a swinging bunt that gets Heyward home.
After giving up a run in the top of the 4th to make the game 3-1 Phils, the Cubs looked like the Cubs of last year by pushing 4 runs across in the bottom of the 6th to grab a 5-3 lead. During that inning the Cubs mustered 6 hits (4 consecutive 2 out hits) and a heads up base running play by Willson Contreras (after hitting a two RBI double). Wade Davis came in the bottom of the ninth to notch his 7th save for the Cubs in this young season (1 IP, 2 K’s, 1 BB).
Mr. Consistency was at it again last night as he probably had his best outing of the season against the Phillies. You could tell early on in the game that he had his stuff as he struck out two batters in the first inning (even while giving up two runs). His fastballs were on point, the breaking stuff had great bite, and with a little more help from Mike Estabrook (home plate umpire) Arrieta probably would have been sitting in double digit K’s. Early on it looked as if the “Co-Aces” for the Cubs would be faced with the short off-season hangover. Now with back-to-back quality outings by Jon Lester and Arrieta, maybe the starting rotation can be moving towards their dominant ways of last year.
Bless his heart….it just did not look as if Ben Zobrist ever got comfortable in right field last night. A couple of plays were misjudged that eventually ended up giving the Phils two runs. First was the double in the 1st inning by Herrera that Zobrist got a bad angle on. You could tell that Ben didn’t read it well off the bat. Second was the fly ball hit off the wall by Brock Stassi. Zobrist couldn’t get to the wall in time, nor find the correct spot, to make the catch. Yep, it would have been close even if the stars aligned correctly. Zobrist is good and I still want him on my team.
The Cubs close out the four game series with the Phillies on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 1:20 CT. John Lackey (2-3, 5.10 ERA) will be countered with Zach Eflin (0-0, 1.89 ERA) for the Phils.
Iowa vs. New Orleans, ppd because of weather.
Tennessee Smokies 2- Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 1
SP- Trevor Clifton (ND) 5.2 IP, 7 H’s, 5 K’s, 2.77 ERA
Top Hitter- Ian Rice (C) 3-3, HR, .278 Avg.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4- Frederick Keys 3
WP- Casey Bloomquist (W, 2-2) 3.1 IP, 0 R’s, 2 K’s
Top Hitter: Josh Hart (CF) 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
South Bend Cubs 6- Kane County Cougars 2
WP- Tyson Miller (W, 1-2) 6 IP, 2 R’s, 1 BB, 4 K’s
Top Hitter: Kevonte Mitchell (LF) 3-4, 3 run’s, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, .280 Avg.