Cubs 3, Braves 8
Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right:

  • Pena – Carlos, Carlos, Carlos. He has been pretty impressive of late. Today he had 2 hits, one of which was a bunt single! Impressive. Then with Johnson batting, Pena stole second! Len and Bob made a bad joke about Pena looking like Campana on the base paths. I guess if you were 1 foot taller and had 100 lbs on somebody, someone might find a resemblance there somewhere, but I just wasn’t seeing it today. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Pena also had a diving, head first slide into first for a single as well. Maybe being taken off waivers gave the guy a confidence boost. I approve.
  • Youngsters – What was impressive about the youngsters today? Tyler Colvin’s triple. That boy has wheels! Hopefully he can find his swing soon so that he can steal bases for us. Castro got his 167th hit of the season in the 1st inning and stole second. Why Quade doesn’t have him attempting to steal more baffles me. He has speed. He gets on base. We have nothing to lose. See what the young guys can do! Maybe somebody will want to take one (or four…) of them off our hands. Everyone needs 52 outfielders, right? No? Oh, maybe that’s just us.
  • Samardzija – Wait, what? Yes. Jeff Samardzija has actually been not bad lately. I never thought those words would find their way into a sentence, but they have. Today, he posted straight 0′s across his frame. He has a 0.71 ERA in the month of August. Maybe he isn’t so bad after all. Maybe.
  • Ramirez is still hot. He ripped a 2 out double in the 8th inning to extend his streak to 14 games.

What Went Wrong:

  • Garza and Grabow- Matt had an uncharacteristically bad game today. 6 runs on 8 hits with 6 Ks and an error in 5 innings. I was really excited to watch this game today, because Garza is usually so great to watch. Boy, was I surprised when he dished up that 3 run shot to McCann in the first, and then never really settle into a groove. He was more shaken than D.C. after that ‘quake.
  • Grabow was himself. Most of the damage had been done at that point, so handing a round-tripper to McCann was nearly unremarkable. Just another day in the life of ol’ John.
  • Errors – The Cubs had four (four!) errors today, which consequently led to 4 unearned runs. Remember kids, actions have consequences. In the case of the Cubs, those consequences are 103 years of bad, bad luck. Be careful.
  • Blake DeWitt was put in to pinch hit. I thought we were done with him.

The Takeaway:
The Cubs fell back to their same habits today: errors, bad pitching, little offense. It was disheartening to see them struggle today, especially because I had to recap a bad game. It has been nice that the Cubs have been doing pretty well lately though. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come next year.

Miscellaneous:

  • Len and Bob had a brief interview with Jimmie Johnson. He asked Len and Bob if they could really tell what pitch that was thrown from all the way up in the booth. I chuckled. What a down to Earth guy.
  • Mike Flanagan passed away this week at the age of 59. I never got the opportunity to hear him call a game, or see him pitch, but word has it that he was a funny guy and a great pitcher and teammate. His death was ruled an apparent suicide. Some say it was caused by the depression he experienced after being blamed for the Orioles’ recent struggles. I am deeply saddened by this news.

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

1st Star – Brian McCann (.262 WPA)

2nd Star – Freddie Freeman (.122 WPA)

3rd Star – Martin Prado (.121 WPA)

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Katie Cernek is a regular contributor to VFTB. She grew up as a Cubs fan in rural Wisconsin and fondly remembers hearing stories of Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo. You can find Katie on Twitter @heyitskatiec