Cubs 3, Pirates 2

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right

  • Aramis Ramirez hit a line drive homerun to left field in the 2nd inning. It was his first home run since April 6th and just his second of the season.
  • Koyie Hill got the job done with the bat, hitting a sac fly that scored Carlos Pena. It was one out with Pena on third and Tony Campana on 1st. The only question I had at the time was why Campana wasn’t on the move trying to get into scoring position with Ryan Dempster coming to the plate after Hill.
  • Very nice fundamental inning that would excite the small ball enthusiasts extremely. Kosuke led off the inning with a double and was bunted over to third by Darwin Barney. Starlin Castro then came up and promptly hit a long sac fly to RF and put the Cubs ahead by a run. It turned into the winning RBI
  • Koyie Hill was successful in the only attempt at a stolen base by the Pirate baserunners.
  • Two nice defensive plays on at bats for Brandon Wood. Koyie Hill got him in the 7th with a diving grab on a popped up bunt attempt and Starlin got him in the 9th with a barehanded grab and throw on a ball he charged hard.
  • Dempster rebounded from a two run opening inning in which he walked two straight hitters with two outs. Both would score to put the Pirates up 2-0. Demp was able to shut them down from that point on and get through six innings with the lead.

What Went Wrong

  • Alfonso Soriano was the only Cub starter without a hit. That ended his hitting streak at 9 games

News / Notes

  • Before the game, the Cubs made a few roster moves. Geovany Soto was activated from the DL, with Wellington Castillo being optioned back to Iowa to make room. Reed Johnson was placed on the DL, replaced by Brad Snyder. To open a spot on the 40 man roster for Snyder, Andrew Cashner was moved from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL.
  • There have been rumors that D.J. LaMahieu is being called up, but I don’t see why that would be true.

The Takeaway

With two of the three series complete on this homestand, the record for the team is 3-3. The only thing that would make that anywhere near acceptable is for the Cubs to sweep Houston. Simply winning the series makes it a very disappointing homestand. It’s becoming more and more evident that this is, at best, a .500 team. No more, no less. You can blame injuries to the starting rotation, but the fact remains that every team has injuries. Good teams have depth to weather that storm and continue to win. We saw it in the NFL this year with the Packers. This year the Cardinals lost one of their top arms before the season even started. What have they done? Continued to play winning baseball in the NL Central. I’m a Jim Hendry guy, but you have to assign some of the blame to him for the lack of depth at key positions. Last year it was very evident that third base was a position with little to no depth. This year it’s been the rotation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m just not confident in the talent that is ready for the Majors from a pitching standpoint.

While we’re on the topic of Hendry, the move to call up Brad Snyder is a curious one to me. One of the reasons the Cubs sent Tyler Colvin down to AAA was the lack of playing time available with the big club. Now, with both CF on the DL, there is a clear spot open for Colvin to get regular at bats at the Major League level. CF is a position he’s played more games at than any other of the OF positions in the Minors so it’s not a comfort level. Couple that with the fact that Tony Campana, while fun to watch, doesn’t bring run production to the lineup. He’s a luxury player that brings speed and defense, but for a team that isn’t scoring, that’s a luxury we can’t afford. It should have been Colvin called up today, not Snyder.

I’ve also got to fire a dart at Mike Quade as well. Why, on a day when Geovany Soto is activated from the DL, is Koyie Hill starting behind the plate? I understand that the Koyie Hill story is a feelgood tale that will someday make it’s way to the Lifetime Movie network. I get it, he cut off his fingers, battled back and is holding down a Major League job. He even produced both offensively and defensively today. Ultimately, Geo is the star behind the plate. If he’s healthy and rested, he needs to catch. End of story.

Sorry to really rain on the parade of a win, but I’m tired of getting all happy go lucky when we win a game. It’s time to win at least three more in a row and put together a winning streak for once. Today was the start. Now let’s keep it going.

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

1st Star– Ryan Dempster (.174 WPA)

2nd Star –Carlos Marmol (.172 WPA)

3rd Star– Sean Marshall (.125 WPA)

Official Recap Standings

Mark 6-3 (.667)

Joe 11-10 (.524)

Buddy 3-3 (.500)

Brandon 1-5 (.167)

Chet 0-2 (.000)

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail