Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 2
What Went Right
- Carlos Zambrano started out the game by walking the first hitter he faced allowing that runner to score on a two-run bomb of a home run to Justin Upton. They say it went 455ft, but I’m not buying. I’m gonna go with 480 ft. At the time, I was almost certain the game was going to go sour early and it was going to be another blow out. Zambrano settled down and was pretty dominant from that point on finishing with a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K. I don’t need to see a lot of strike outs racked up by Carlos. What I look for in his starts now is that he’s effective with his pitches, throws ground balls, and gets through six or seven innings. Last night he got the win and looked decent doing it, but he still has work to do.
- The Cubs rebounded from the 2-0 deficit with a back to back home run series from Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto. It’s the first time the Cubs have gone back to back this season according to the broadcast on CSN. That probably has something to do with the fact that you typically need two hitters to be able to hit a home run to make that happen. This year we’ve only had Soriano. Before the game, I had a conversation with Chet who called Soto out for sucking. He told me to watch his approach at the plate. I know what he was saying, but it made me laugh that the day that conversation happened, Geo went deep and had Lizzie begging for more. The funny thing about the Soriano home run was that when he came into the dugout, he was confident that he was going to do it again. You could hear him say it. Bob Brenly even pointed it out twice on the broadcast before Sori hit the 2nd homer in the 7th. Why is it that Soriano is the only one that doesn’t appear to have lost his power stroke? Does it bother anyone else that, as a commentor pointed out, Koyie Hill has more home runs than Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd combined? Those are our 3-4-5 guys in the order!!!
- Darwin Barney came up big in the 8th with a nice leadoff triple over the head of Chris Young in CF. You don’t typically see a little guy like Barney hit one over someone’s head, but he did and it yielded a nice insurance run in the 8th to give the pen some cushion to close it out without incident.
- Starlin Castro was OK after being hit by a pitch the very next at bat.
- Len and Bob pointed this out on the broadcast and I didn’t notice it until then. Kosuke Fukudome has made subtle changes to his approach at the plate as the pitch is coming it. You can see he’s adopted the Jaramillo toe tap and doesn’t appear to be bailing out of there like he used to. Everything seems more balanced in his approach. It’s hard to know if his success this season is due to that or if it’s his typical April dominance, but it’s working for him right now.
- It appears that the condensed version of the game, something that was exclusively for MLB.tv subscribers is available free now. Please let me know if it works for you if you don’t have a subscription to MLB.tv in the comment section. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go under the picture above and click the condensed game link.
What Went Wrong
- Zambrano issued two walks to Chris Young, who had only drawn three walks all year to that point. That means Zambrano has now issued 40% of the walks Young has drawn. (Insert sample size reference here)
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Alfonso Soriano (.238 WPA)
2nd Star – Sean Marshall (.177 WPA)
3rd Star– Justin Upton (.138 WPA)
Official Recap Standings
Buddy 3-1 (.750)
Joe 6-6 (.500)
Mark 2-3 (.400)
Chet 0-1 (.000)
Brandon 0-3 (.000)