Cubs 12, Reds 8

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Starlin Castro actually walked! However, it was against Dontrelle Willis, so it probably shouldn’t count.
  • Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs an early lead with an RBI double in the 1st inning. Alfonso Soriano plated the Cubs second run with a single to left. Run number three came home on a fielder’s choice grounder from Geo Soto.
  • The Cubs added two more in the 3rd inning via a Jeff Baker homer and a Soto double.
  • The slugfest continued in the 4th. The Cubs knocked out Willis with three more runs on doubles by Castro and Soriano.
  • Castro flexed his muscles in the 5th inning with a two-run poke to left-center.
  • Ramirez smacked home run number 25 in the 6th.
  • The Cubs made it an even dozen when Reed Johnson singled in a run in the 8th.

WHAT WENT WRONG

  • Lopez gave up a monstrous home run to Reds 3B Juan Francisco. I think that ball is still travelling. After Willis rifled a single to right (he can’t pitch anymore but he can still hit), Brandon Phillips tied the game with a two-run bomb. Phillips got Lopez again with a solo blast in the 5th.  Rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco added another Reds homer in the 6th.  Despite throwing batting practice for most of his outing, Lopez got the ugly win.
  • Len Kasper spent what felt like forever giving us the heights and weights of Reds’ players. Maybe tomorrow he’ll tell us the color of their eyes.
  • My fantasy football team lost the season opener. Time to fire the GM!

WISH LIST

Is it too much to ask for the Cubs to find a 1B like Joey Votto? OK, it probably is, but I’m asking anyway.

With the Reds playing sub-.500 baseball in 2011, much of the country has ignored Votto’s MVP follow-up season. Through September 12th, Joey has ripped up the league to the tune of:

  • .320/.427/.553
  • 28 home runs
  • 35 doubles
  • 100 walks

Votto won’t even sniff the 2011 N.L. MVP award, but he’s having a similar season to his winning campaign (I won’t bore you again with my rant about the terrible job sports writers do with annual awards). Votto just turned 28, so he’ll be punishing opposing pitchers for quite some time.

Back to the Cubs. I know that many VFTB readers want Bryan LaHair at 1B next year, but let me ask you this…What if the Cubs decide to make him a corner OF? Or, what if LaHair turns out to be the next Michal Hoffpauir? Is there another 1B on your radar screen? Please share your thoughts and ideas for 2012.

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

1st Star – Brandon Phillips (.198 WPA)

2nd Star – Starlin Castro (.162 WPA)

3rd Star – Aramis Ramirez (.142 WPA)

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