Who needs another trade? We’ve got Caratini!
When I was in college, I participated in a Psych experiment where I played the video game Frogger. I played a couple of games and then before each successive game I had to tell the experimenter what score I thought I would get on the next game. When I had a good game I tended to up the ante of my prediction. But if I had a couple of crap games I would bring it down some. It ended up being quite a roller coaster ride.
Expectations are funny things, and it’s easy to let them run wild. But just because you went from a turtle to a log then over an alligator to the lily pad yesterday it doesn’t mean you won’t get run over by a truck right out of the gate today.
And speaking of expectations, despite what he says, John Lackey is the Cubs 5th starter. And as such all we should expect of him, on a good day, is that he give the Cubs 5 innings and hopefully give up 3 runs of less.
On Sunday the Cubs ran out the 38 year, 280 day old Lackey to match up with Zach Davies, for whom I think the Brewers got a special waiver from his parents to allow him to play in the major leagues—probably as a reward for graduating high school early this year.
Both starters pitched very well, and not much of note happened through the first five innings where ten zeroes were posted on the board.
In the top of the sixth with 2 out the Cubs got a single by Jon Jay, a double by Kris Bryant, and singles from Willson Contreras and Addison Russell to go up 2-0. Then in the bottom of the sixth the Brewers got those runs right back when Domingo Santana put one just barely over the outstretched arm of a leaping Jason Heyward and over the right field wall.
In the top of the 7th Victor Caratini, who made his first ever start at first base today, unloaded a bomb to straight away centerfield for his first major league home run to put the Cubs up 3-2, and putting Lackey in line for the win (after giving the Cubs that 5th guy quality start I referred to earlier).
Justin Grimm took Lackey’s place in the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh. Bim!
In the top of the eighth Kris Bryant hit his 20th home run of the year off the left field foul pole to make it 4-2 Cubs.
Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Bam!
In the bottom of the ninth Wade Davis, who apparently doesn’t care for the quiet 1-2-3- inning, gave up a single to Manny Pena to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. But then he got Jesus Aguilar to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to ice the game, notch another series win for the Cubs, and run their lead in the N.L. Central to 2 ½ games. Boom!
After a day off tomorrow, the Cubs return home to match up with the Diamondbacks, and then the Nationals. The next six games against these two high quality opponents should tell us a lot about the Cubs and what we can expect from them for the rest of the season.