Game 68 – The Fukudome Show
Cubs 12, Brewers 7
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Offense – It’s a new season high for the Cubs offense today with 12 runs scored. In particular, it was the top of the order that shone the brightest today, with Kosuke Fukudome missing the cycle by a double and Starlin Castro reaching base in all five plate appearances. The offense as a whole just kept pouring it on all game despite falling behind in both of the first two innings.
- Garza Getting Through Six – It’s hard to believe that after giving up five runs through three innings of work that not only was Matt Garza able to get the win, but was also able to get through the 6th inning with less than 100 pitches. He settled in and stopped the bleeding after the 3rd inning to get his third win of the season. It was a bullpen saver as we head into the series with the Yankees.
- Brewers Boners – The Brewers just didn’t seem like a first place team today. It starts at the top of the order, with Ricky Weeks getting thrown out badly trying to stretch out a single to a double not once, but twice. I have no idea what was going through his mind in both instances, because they were both equally boneheaded in a different way. In the 4th he was thrown on a throw from Fukudome by a mile. No idea why he was running. The very next time up, late in the game with his team down four he did the same thing. Couple that with sloppy defense by the pitcher / catcher combo that allowed Cubs runs on a couple occasions and you’ve got a major reason why the Cubs were able to win.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Blake DeWitt hitting third – I actually thought it was a misprint when they were showing the lineup on the screen. I couldn’t figure out any rational reason why he’d ever be hitting in that spot….EVER. As expected, he went 0-for-4 and saw a total of nine pitches. Way to be a run producer, Blake.
- John Grabow forgot who he played for – 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER. Yuck. Why did we sign him again
- Before the game started, the Cubs had been out homered 22-3 in games at Wrigley Field when the wind is blowing out.
- Ed Rapuano was the proud recipient of a “ding-dong” moment in the 4th. If you didn’t see it, he took a ball that bounced in the dirt and caught it flat in the treasure chest. Props to him for finishing the game because I’d have been done.
I’m not going to blow smoke up your butt and tell you the Cubs are going to be turning it around. By the way, if you like people blowing smoke up your butt, I’m sure there are clubs out there that can satisfy your need. What I will tell you is that I came away from the game with a smile on my face. It was a nice, enjoyable game to watch. I enjoyed it fully. Overall, the series was enjoyable as well, but we can’t forget that the next opponent is the Yankees. Let’s enjoy this win and go from there. I will say this. I question Mike Quade’s rational for how he manages the players he is given, particularly his use of DeWitt. Why he’s played him in LF and hit him in the third spot in the order is beyond me.
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Kosuke Fukudome (.258 WPA)
2nd Star – Starlin Castro (.229 WPA)
3rd Star – George Kattaras (.142 WPA)
Cubs Hitting: +.586 WPA
Cubs Pitching: -.086 WPA