Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.
Was it bad mojo that Alex Avila wore his Detroit Tiger catchers gear in the game Wednesday night? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps the team was distressed that I had to stay up watching this game because I signed up for August 3rd’s a.m. post when I meant to sign up for the a.m. post following August 3rd’s game. (a.k.a. August 4th’s a.m. post) Whatever the cause it did seem like the Cubs just could never quite get the wind into their sails in this game.
It started off promising enough. The top of the first went strikeout, Baez-esque play by Ben Zobrist at second (Whaaaaaa?), strikeout. Then Zobrist led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and things were looking good. But then Kris Bryant grounded into a double play, and Anthony Rizzo popped out to left field and that was that. Ugh.
Jake set the Diamondbacks down 1-2-3 in the top of the 2nd, and Kyle Schwarber BUNTED against the shift for a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. At this point I thought something good had to happen. And two batters later Addison Russell roped a ball into left field. But then Jason Heyward lined out and Jon Jay did a very convincing impersonation of Kyle Schwarber, striking out on a ball that bounced in front of him and that was that. (Incidentally, Russell’s hit would be the Cubs last of the game).
Later in the inning, in what unfortunately would be the highlight of the night for me, while looking at a fan in the bleachers sporting his giveaway headwear, J.D. declared it was “Judge Smails look alike night.” As in, “That’s the worst looking hat I ever saw. I bet when you buy a hat like that you get a free bowl of soup.” Captain Oblivious, Len Kasper, made no comment whatsoever to this, and dead air ruled the airwaves for a while. Then about 3 minutes later Len proclaimed, “Excellent giveaway tonight, the fedoras.”
Honestly, what the hell is wrong with those two?
The bottom of the second was not a total loss, however, as we learned that the Cubs new catcher’s name is pronounced AH-vee-la, and not Ah-VEE-la. Good to know, but however it’s pronounced, for God’s sake have the equipment manager get him some red, white and royal blue catchers gear, and pronto!
Arrieta allowed only one batter to reach base through five innings, but in the sixth David Peralta led off the inning with a single. Then A.J. Pollock was safe when Addison Russell made a throwing error on a routine grounder. Peralta took third on the play and then Pollock stole second when Russell couldn’t hang on to Avila’s throw. Both runners would then score on Jake Lamb’s double.
Honestly, from that point on it seemed like everyone was sleep walking through the game. Justin Wilson made his Cubs debut and gave up one run, but it wouldn’t really matter as the Cubs never got anything going offensively. As if to illustrate that point, the Cubs power trio of Bryant-Rizzo and Schwarber went out with a whimper in the bottom of the ninth against former Cub Fernando Rodney.
Sorry I couldn’t make more of a silk purse out of this sow’s ear of a game, but I’m just not feeling it tonight, and clearly the Cubs weren’t either.