First Star : Carlos Silva (WPA .343)
Second Star: Mike Fontenot (WPA .151)
Third Star: Marlon Byrd (WPA .137)
The Cubs defeated the Cardinals today by a score of 5-0. I could stop there and most of our readers would smile, walk away, and spend the rest of their night happy, but that would be doing this game a deep injustice. There were quite a few highlights from todays game at sun splashed Wrigley and very few them involved the Cardinals in a positive light. We got to see a Cubs squad hit with runners in scoring position, a few web gems for the Cubs defense, a sensational performance by Carlos Silva, and all of this happened on a Fox Game of the Week Broadcast. We never seem to play well when Fox is here! Without further ado, here is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly……
- Carlos Silva became the first Cubs pitcher to go 7-0 since Ken Holtzmen achieved the feat in 1967. He went 7 innings and gave up 2 hits while striking out 11. By the way, thats a career high in K’s for Carlos. He had steady command of his pitches and mixed speeds all day. The sinker and off-speed stuff was far too much to handle for the Cards hitters. This is almost making up for the fact the we signed Milton Bradley in the first place….almost.
- With the wind blowing in for most of today’s game the Cubs did not hit one homerun, which means they manufactured all 5 of their runs. Not bad for a team that seemed to be living and dying by the homer.
- Mike Fontenot, filling in for Razmirez at third, had two Triples today in the right center gap….the second one drove in Byrd from second base. Aramis who?
- Marlon Byrd made a diving catch in the second inning with a man on base and one out and Starlin Castro made a highlight reel play on a short hop linedrive smoked by Albert Pujols in the fourth. To watch Castro snare that ball was a glimpse at the defensive prowess he brings.
- As if the defense wasn’t enough Byrd and Castro both went 2-4 at the plate and each batted in a run.
- The Cardinals defense. They had two errors and a host of other sloppy plays in the field. Both of the errors helped add to the Cub run total.
- Derrek Lee managed to kill yet another inning in the fifth with a double play. The leadoff man gets on and lee hits into a DP. He has looked better lately but it kills me how I can predict when he will hit into a double play!
- Adam Ottavino made his first career start in the majors and registered 6 walks. The perplexing thing was that the Fox announcers seem to think he pitched well. I think the Cubs poor offense in the first three innings helped the kid look good.
- Marshall had a rare bad appearance giving up two hits in the eighth. He got pulled for Zambrano who cleaned up his mess with a quick double play ball.
- The end of Adam Ottavino’s Major League debut came when he walked Carlos Silva on four straight pitches. The worst part, he managed to load the bases. The second worst part, there were two outs. The ugly part……Mitch Boggs came on in relief of Ottavino and walked the first batter he faced (Fukudome) creating the Cubs fourth run!
- Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. These guys are so bias to the Cardinals it sours my view of these Fox broadcasts. McCarver also couldn’t figure out the difference between the Hancock and the Sears (Willis) tower.
Well, thats about it for this fairytale ending. Dempster will try to lock down the series for us in the rubber match tomorrow. Something tells me the Cards wont be such a pushover in game three. What do you guys think?