Cubs 2, Phillies 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

The Baseball Gods just couldn’t allow a team as bad as the Cubs to beat both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in consecutive games.

What went right:

  • Cubs came out swinging in the first against Cliff Lee. Reed Johnson started things off with a line drive double to right. Starlin Castro followed that up with his 3rd home run of the season; a rocket into the left field basket. Aramis Ramirez stayed hot with a double of his own, but Lee would get out of the inning by retiring the next three batters. All in all, the first five men hit the ball hard.
  • Matt Garza was excellent. He didn’t give up a hit until the 5th inning and finished with a line of 7 innings, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 earned run……and a no decision. He is single handedly making the case that ‘wins’ for pitchers is a meaningless statistic.

What went wrong:

  • The first two Cub batters of the game scored. The next 36 batters did not.
  • Alfonso Soriano was 0-4 and prior to the game was hitting .188/.220/.229 for the month of July in 48 at bats.
  • I was hoping I wouldn’t have to rip Quade, but, 2-0 game, bottom of the 7th, the pitcher spot leading off with a new right handed relief pitcher on the mound for the Phillies. Seeing as how Garza had 113 pitches at that point, sounds like a great pinch hitting spot for Kosuke Fukudome, does it not? Well not if you’re Mike Quade. Garza strikes out and would throw four more pitches before being replaced. Those four pitches must have been pretty darn important.
  • Sean Marshall. After Quade pulled Garza, Marshall gave up a single and then a two run double, tying the game up. He’d later give up a few bloop hits and two more runs and take the loss. At least he was kind enough to get the game over with so I could go to bed.

 Miscellaneous:

  • Ryan Howard was signed to a five year contract extension on 4/26/10 even though he was already locked up for two more seasons. He’ll get five years (age 32-36) at $125 million guaranteed. That would be like the Cubs signing Derrek Lee to a contract after his 2005 MVP caliber season that went from 2008 through 2012. How would we feel about THAT right now? Howard’s contract is one of the worst in baseball and it doesn’t even start until next season.
  • Bob Brenly noticed the Phillies Carlos Ruiz flashing multiple signs to Cliff Lee, even with no one on base. Do the Phillies think the Cubs are stealing signs?
  • Tweet seen from Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan: Reed Johnson has 17 doubles in 132 at-bats. The next-highest doubles total with so few ABs is Casper Wells with 10 in 113. I’d think Reed would make some decent trade bait to a team needing some extra outfielder.

Takeaway:

  • Sign Garza NOW. Get this guy signed to a three or four year extension, buying out a free agent season or two. He IS the best pitcher on the staff and one of the top 10 or so in the National League. Mark my words, the trade will prove to have been a good one!
  • Bring on the trades. We desperately need something else to talk about.

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

1st Star – Michael Martinez (.586 WPA)

2nd Star – Matt Garza (.352 WPA)

3rd Star – Chase Utley (.279 WPA)

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