Cubs 3, Rockies 5
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Kosuke Fukudome kept swinging a red-hot bat, collecting five more hits.
- Surprise slugger Darwin Barney drove a breaking ball through the wind for a 1st-inning home run. It was his first homer as a big leaguer.
- Alfonso Soriano went to RF and delivered a sac fly to make it 3-0 Cubs.
- Matt Garza battled the elements and bad defense (including his own) to give the Cubs six respectable innings. He struck out seven and gave up one earned run. Unfortunately, he left the game trailing by two.
- Jeff Baker filled in nicely for Aramis Ramirez with three hits and a walk.
- Marlon Byrd actually walked against a RHP. Can the winning lottery ticket be far behind?
- The Shark tossed two more scoreless innings. I’m not sure how he’s doing it, but the Cubs need to ride this horse until it breaks.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- I couldn’t believe my eyes, but Starlin Castro made three errors (not a typo) in the 2nd inning and allowed Colorado to tie the game. It was like watching an animal get tortured. Or a Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson movie.
- Castro’s bad night in the field followed him to the plate as he went 0-5.
- Matt Garza’s throwing error with two men on gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead.
- The Cubs stranded 12,754 baserunners. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
- Carlos Pena went hitless again and even chewed out the home plate umpire for good measure. Weak.
- Len and Bob didn’t call in sick today, which meant I had to listen to them call the game. Yes, I could have turned down the sound and listened to the radio broadcast instead, but I’m pretty lazy.
- The Reds won. I can’t stand the Reds.
ANOTEHR ROUND OF RANDOM THOUGHTS
It seems like only yesterday when the Colorado Rockies joined the National League. In reality their first season was 1993. In addition to thinking about how many beers I have consumed since then, I thought it might be interesting to look back at the Rockies original roster (or at least the bulk of it)…
- C-Joe Girardi: The Rockies selected Girardi as the 19th player in the MLB expansion draft. He rewarded them with a .290 batting average, which of course doesn’t mean much in Colorado. Still, Joe was a fine defensive player in his day.
- 1B-Andres Galarraga: At age 32, the “Big Cat” put up monster numbers during his first year in Denver (.370/.403/.602). He would go on to enjoy an impressive second act to his career.
- 2B-Eric Young: The future Cub posted a .355 on-base percentage in 1993. To nobody’s surprise, he was much better at home. However, he was still very fast everywhere.
- 3B-Charlie Hayes: Mr. Hayes muscled up in the thin air, swatting 25 homers for Don Baylor’s club. He didn’t approach those power numbers again.
- SS-Vinny Castilla: Vinny never met a pitch he didn’t like. In 1993 he walked 13 times in 357 PA. In the next few years he would graduate to bigger and better slugging stats, but the walks wouldn’t follow.
- LF-Jerald Clark: Did you know that Clark attended Lamar University? That’s the most interesting fact about the Rockies forgettable LF.
- CF-Alex Cole: The former Pirate played 126 games for the Rockies and didn’t hit a single home run. He did swipe 30 bases, which was second to E.Y.’s 42.
- RF-Dante Bichette: Ah, Dante. How many times did you go deep against my pitching staff in Earl Weaver Ball? Too many to count. As a result I still hate this guy, but Rockies fans sure didn’t. By 1995, he was a 40-homer player.
- SP- How would you like to be the pitching coach for this rotation? Armando Reynoso (who was actually pretty decent that year), David Neid (completely terrible), Butch Henry (made Neid look like Greg Maddux), Kent Bottenfield (checking in with a sparkling 6.10 ERA), and Willie Blair (there aren’t enough guys named Willie in baseball these days). If that staff doesn’t turn your stomach, nothing will. However, the fan-base didn’t seem to mind. The Rockies drew 4.5 million that season.
- RP- Baylor’s closer was RHP Darren Holmes. Holmes saved 25 games in 1993, easily his all-time high. He knocked around for 10 more years, finishing his career with Atlanta. Other relievers from the 1993 Rockies included Steve Reed, Bruce Ruffin, Gary Wayne (who?), Jeff Parrett, Curt Leskanic, and future starter Andy Ashby.
Colorado finished that first season at 67-95. Two years later, they were in the playoffs. Not too shabby.
Back to present day…On a tough night to play baseball, the Cubs defense made things even tougher. Hopefully the bats (and gloves) get going in game two. With James Russell on the mound, Quade’s crew will need all the offense they can possibly generate.
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Matt Lindstrom (.227 WPA)
2nd Star – Kosuke Fukudome (.219 WPA)
3rd Star– Chris Ianetta (.140 WPA)
Official Recap Standings
Buddy 3-1 (.750)
Joe 5-5 (.500)
Mark 2-2 (.500)
Chet 0-1 (.000)
Brandon 0-3 (.000)