Today the Cubs got eight great innings of pitching – the only problem was that they gave up seven runs in the other inning as officially scored.  Randy Wells lasted six batters giving up five runs without a single out. He was relieved by James Russell who pitched four innings of no run baseball.  The other Cub relievers got the team to the ninth inning without giving up a single run and that’s when the Cubs brought in Grabow who showed his expertise by giving up a two run homer and the Cubs lost to the Cards 7-1.  Rumors are flying around that the Cubs might be bringing up Cashner in a relief spot this week but who are you going to take off the roster?  Russell is pitching well as is Stevens, my candidate for demotion is Grabow.  Designate him for assignment, if another team takes him so be it.  Let’s eat his salary and move on.

Win Probability

First Star: Chris Carpenter (.176 WPA)
Second Star: Jason Motte (.114 WPA)
Third Star: Ryan Ludwick (.094 WPA)
Honorable Mention: James Russell (.086 WPA)

Highlights for today’s game:

  • The Cards got six straight hits off of Randy Wells and scored five runs, which is all they needed.  Wells didn’t look like he had his head in the game and left the ball up, his ERA jumped from 3.99 to 4.79.  This comes at a bad time as Carlos Zambrano is tentatively penciled in as a starter during the next trip through the rotation.  Which makes me wonder if the Cubs will be trading a starter. If so who will it be?  There’s no room for Cashner in the bullpen unless somebody goes so it looks to me like the ball is in Hendry’s court. I would DFA Grabow and go from there.
  • Carpenter was effective today and his breaking ball impressed me. It had that 12-6 rotation that Kerry Wood once had.  Jason Motte came in at the end and pitched in the mid to high nineties, dude can bring it!
  • Byrd is in a funk and has hit 4 for his last 36.  I really like Byrd, he is a clubhouse leader and gives you all that he’s got.  That notwithstanding I’d like to see Colvin get a couple more starts in center. Despite a part-time role Tyler is still hitting over .300 and he golfed one into the stands today resulting in the Cubs only run.
  • Needless to say I was not happy seeing a .160 hitter in the four hole today.  But I’ve got to give him credit for taking a walk in the first and he actually had a heads-up baserunning play when he legged out a pop-up which got lost in the sun and earned a double in the bottom of the sixth.
  • The Cubs got two great defensive plays in the outfield, one by Byrd and one by Soriano.
  • Late in the game Theriot got drilled in the ribs. For those of you that have never gotten bruised or cracked ribs it is a real experience.  Four weeks of constant pain followed by two weeks of itching.  Cubs need to keep an eye on Ryan with two other second basemen available.

Lou Piniella said that Zambrano would be available tomorrow and that Colvin is forcing him to put him in the lineup. Hopefully we’ll see both actions in the rest of the series.  Tomorrow the Cubs and Cards will match up in a nationwide game on FOX, let’s hope they can recover from game one and tie this series.

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