Cubs 10 – Dodgers 8

Box Score / Video Highlights

My thanks for Joe for letting me write about this one – I flew in yesterday from Austin, TX and was itching to get back into the baseball season.  This game had something for every Cubs fan – some timely hitting, a little life on the basepaths and some downright persistence by the Cubs – they didn’t give up.  Some highlights of the game and observations:

What went right:

  • Castro and Barney are both hotter than a pair of two dollar pistols:  Combined they were 7 out of 10 with 4 runs scored and 6 RBIs.  Will these guys one day become a Daily Double?  One can only dream.
  • Aggressive baserunning:  I liked how Quade initiated the double steal in the third; later on Castro got caught dead to rights on a steal but he put his head down and went into second.  Loney pitched the ball to second and Starlin was safe, I hope a few young ballplayers saw this play and the wisdom of just running the play out instead of giving up.  Amusingly Barney was caught in the same situation later in the game but made the wrong choice, he stopped dead in his tracks about fifteen feet from second.  Fortunately James Loney blocked Barney’s return to first and Darwin was rewarded with a free pass to second on the Dodger first baseman’s error.
  • Quade made a smart decision going with an all righty lineup against Teddy Baseball – the Cubs executed 11 hits during Lilly’s 5 1/3 innings.  Mike also made a smart substitution in the ninth putting Carlos Pena in as a defensive replacement – he made a fine play to get a throw from Darwin Barney who went deep in the hole to steal a base hit away from the Dodgers.
  • The Cubs showed us a “never quit, never give up” attitude.  Their tenacity was rewarded with a win.

What went wrong:

  • Keystone Cubs:  The North Siders have to shore up their defense.  The first defensive lapse was by Castro – he appeared to intentionally drop a ball to get a double play.  The umpire then enforced the rule book calling a dead ball foul which gave the Cubs one out instead of two.  Starlin will improve on defense, that much we know.  Soriano also flubbed a play in left and there was a question in my mind as to why Quade didn’t substitute for Soriano after Lilly was pulled.  The Dodgers don’t have any lefthanded relievers and Soriano had already struck out three times.  C’mon Mike, you’re a hands-on manager!  Later in the game Soto had a throwing error on a stolen base attempt – the runner moved on to third and scored after a weak relay throw by Castro to the plate on a subsequent play.
  • Dempster is still running out of gas in the fifth and sixth and Mike Quade needs to wake up and smell the coffee.  Were I the Cubs manager I would have Ryan on an extremely short leash in the fifth – Dempster let LA get right back into the game and one bad pitch by Marshall resulted in a two run Dodger lead.  Fortunately the Cubs’ offense fought back.

Thankfully the Cubs came back and salvaged the win in rather spectacular fashion, it was a great game to watch and the Cubs will play the Dodgers again tomorrow for a shot at a rubber game victory.  The game will be televised on TBS as well as CSN.

Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Starlin Castro (.373 WPA)

2nd Star – Jeff Baker (.245 WPA)

3rd Star– Andre Ethier (.238 WPA)

Official Recap Standings

Buddy 3-0 (1.00)

Joe 5-5 (.500)

Mark 2-2 (.500)

Chet 0-1 (.000)

Brandon 0-2 (.000)

 

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