Cubs 5, Red Sox 15
The following recap is a guest post by Dustin Godsey
What Went Right
Getting ‘em on – It wasn’t as though the Cubs didn’t give themselves an opportunity to stay in the game, as they racked up 12 hits off Boston starter John Lester. The Red Sox’ big lefty has struggled of late having now given up four or more runs in three consecutive starts, and the Cubs hitters put pressure on him from the start. Chicago put runners in scoring position in each of the first six innings, and it’s hard to complain too much about the offense that knocks around the opposing starting pitcher the way the Cubs did. That said…well, we’ll get to that shortly.
Jeff Baker – Leading the hit parade for the Cubs was Jeff Baker, who finished the night 4 for 5, with hits in each of his four at bats against Lester. It’s no secret that Baker is the ultimate platoon infielder against lefties, but he has been even more impressive so far this season in particular, and has raised his average against southpaws this season to .513.
James Russell – When your first two pitchers of the night can’t give you more than four innings in the first game of the series, you need someone to come in, calm things down and eat up a couple innings in hopes that your bullpen isn’t completely depleted going into the weekend. That was Russell tonight. He wasn’t spectacular, but he pitched three quiet innings, allowing just three hits and no runs.
What Went Wrong
Getting ‘em in – Again, it’s hard to scream too loudly about an offense that gives you 12 hits in the first six innings, but as has been the case often this year the Cubs left a lot of runs on the table. Baker and Aramis Ramirez combined for seven hits from the three and four holes, but didn’t have many opportunities to turn those hits into runs with Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney going just 1 for 10 in front of them.
Doug Davis – Davis threw 24 pitches before retiring an out (though that wasn’t all his fault) and despite a 1-2-3 second inning, it was pretty clear from the start that the bullpen was going to get some work. Despite throwing 42 of his 89 pitches for balls, Davis’ night couldn’t be classified as wild. He stayed right around the strike zone all night, sometimes to his benefit, but often not as he gave up eight hits and walked three in his 3 2/3 innings.
Scott Maine – Ugh. 1/3+ innings, 37 pitches, and two balls hit by Youkilis and Saltalamacchia that may have traveled about a quarter mile each. Any thought that the Cubs might stay in this one was erased during Maine’s brief time on the hill.
Defense (again) – Another bad night in the field for the Cubs, finishing the night with another four errors. Errors in the infield. Errors in the outfield. Throwing errors. Fielding errors. Passed balls. Basically the same thing we’ve seen all year from this team.
- Jeff Samardzija pitched the eight-inning in mop-up duty and didn’t look like the same “Shark” we’ve been used to seeing. There wasn’t much on the line though, so I’m not too concerned with the bad outing in this case.
- With Bob Brenly taking a night off to watch his son play in Dayton, Bill Buckner filled in admirably as color analyst along side Len Kasper.
- After the Volvo sign above the Green Monster kept it from landing on Landsdowne St., Jared Saltalamacchia’s fifth inning home run ball found it’s way into the hands of none other than Cubs president Crane Kenney, who took in the game from atop the left field wall.
- The “Good Luck Bruins” sign on the padding behind the plate was a nice show of camaraderie amongst the Boston sports teams.
- The Cubs and Red Sox will wear throwback uniforms from the 1918 season on Saturday commemorating the last time the two teams me in Fenway Park. Just think, if not for Steve Bartman and Aaron Bleeping Boone, they might be wear 2003 throwbacks instead.
The pitching match-up for Saturday’s game 2 would appear to favor the Cubs, with Carlos Zambrano matching up against Alfredo Aceves, who is making his first start of the year, and just the sixth in his four seasons. Big Z will look to regain his form after picking up his first road loss of the season earlier in the week in Cincinnati. With Boston putting a right-hander on the mound, the Cubs lineup will undoubtedly take on a different look on Saturday. Kosuke Fukudome will most certainly replace Reed Johnson in RF, and it will be interesting to see what combination Quade goes with at DH/LF. Prediction: Cubs 5, Red Sox 3
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star– Casey Coleman (.273 WPA)
2nd Star –Marlon Byrd (.122 WPA)
3rd Star– John Buck (.115 WPA)
Official Recap Standings
Mark 4-3 (.571)
Buddy 3-3 (.500)
Joe 9-10 (.474)
Brandon 1-4 (.200)
Chet 0-2 (.000)