Cubs 2, Astros 1

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right:

  • Starlin got hit #194 today. For those of you who don’t want to do the mental math, that’s just 6 more hits to reach #200. He has also hit safely in 30 straight games.
  • Tony Campana managed to manufacture a run out of a walk. Ramirez moved him over to 2nd base, then he stole third, and then he scored on a throwing error. Man, I sure wish he would do more for the Cubs. Being fast and turning walks into home runs (in theory) just isn’t good enough.
  • Lopez pitched pretty well! I was surprised, but it was good to see him go 7 innings and strike out 7 batsmen. Given, it was the Astros, but hey, a K is a K, no matter which way you flip it.

What went wrong:

  • The Cubs had 2 errors today. Ramirez had a throwing error (Pena should have been able to pick it up) and LaHair just misplayed a seemingly harmless ball and turned a single into a double.
  • The Cubs left 9 men on base, and were 0-8 with runners in scoring position. The runs we did get were a homerun by LaHair and a run scored on an error. What is wrong with our hitting??
  • Quade keeps playing the old men. Given, Montanez got to play for a little while, but still, why have Soriano and Ramirez be prominent players at this point? There is nothing to play for. The young guys need to show everyone what they are capable of doing.
  • Marshall was kind of scary in the top of the 9th, when he intentionally walked J.D. Martinez to load the bases. By some stroke of luck, he managed to get out scot-free, but if he would have done that against any other team, he wouldn’t have been so fortunate.

Notes:

Bryan LaHair hit is 2nd home run in the Bigs, which translates to his 40th of the season in both the Minors and the Majors. That’s pretty good. He and Rodrigo Lopez did their parts to help the Cubs win their 4,000th home game. Maybe this will help Lopez’ popularity increase a little bit. I mean, helping the Cubs to their 4,000th home win is worth something, isn’t it? Maybe not when your team is one of the worst in the Majors.

The Astros lost their 100th game of the season. They’ve never lost 100 games in a season in the 50 year history of the franchise. They’re the first team to 100 losses this season, and will most likely be the only team to reach that number this season.

The Takeaway:

The Cubs are bad. We have a lot of work to do this off-season, but we have to figure out which players to keep, and which players to ship out. I could give a few helpful hints, but people get paid a lot of money for that, and I don’t want to give out my expertise for free. But one thing I will share: play the kids.

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

1st Star – Rodrigo Lopez (.277 WPA)

2nd Star – Clint Barmes (.229 WPA)

3rd Star – K. Wood (.172 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