Cubs 3, Rockies 4
I’ve been watching this season with a sense of growing apprehension, particularly because of the Cubs starting rotation. Going into 2011 the Cubs looked to have one of the better starting staffs, at least one that was better than average. But the results so far have been slightly less than abysmal – going into this evening’s game the Cub starters sported a combined ERA of 5.81, last in the majors. Tonight Jeff Russell did nothing to improve that and the Cubs lost the game 4-3.
What went right:
- The top of the order impressed once again – Castro and Barney are the new daily double. Don’t you love these guys? If Starlin can just shore up his defense the Cubs appear to be set up the middle for years to come.
- Jeff Baker continues to impress: I’m surprised but he’s hitting both righties and lefties. This is really big because so far Carlos Pena appears to be a big bust – the Cubs first base version of Corey Patterson. Thank goodness he’s a rent-a-player.
- The Cubs bullpen is hot – they’ve pitched over sixteen innings of scoreless baseball, at least when it comes to earned runs. Berg, Marshall, Woody and Grabow all had effective relief innings tonight.
- Soriano homered which is always a good thing.
What went wrong:
- Jeff Russell continues to be unimpressive as a starter – I’m finished with Russell after being patient, this guy doesn’t presently have what it takes to start at the Major League level. For example: Gopher balls thrown to Helton and Wigginton – these guys can hit, why did we throw pitches they could jump on? I can excuse Helton’s first home run but not the next two. Mike Quade has been patient – he’s the team manager. But my patience has run out – send this guy down now, not tomorrow.
- The wind was blowing out tonight, why didn’t our hitters hit more line drives? Quade did the right thing and loaded up the order with right handed hitters but the hitters didn’t respond. If the Cubs want to be one of the two top teams in the division rank and file players have to produce – we have what we need in the one and two holes, what about three through eight?
So the Cubs go three games below .500 and look to avoid a sweep tomorrow. The game will be televised on CSN and begin at 1:20 CDT. The Cubs have now lost four out of five to the Rockies and I’ll be glad to see them leave town.
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Jorge De La Rosa (.257 WPA)
2nd Star – Todd Helton (.139 WPA)
3rd Star– Ty Wigginton (.139 WPA)
Official Recap Standings
Buddy 3-1 (.750)
Joe 5-5 (.500)
Mark 2-3 (.400)
Chet 0-1 (.000)
Brandon 0-3 (.000)