Cubs 5, Brewers 2

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Somehow Casey Coleman kept the big Brewer bats off balance. Coleman tossed six solid innings and allowed only one run.
  • Geo Soto went absolutely nuts tonight. He smacked two homers and drove in five runs.
  • Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano walked in the same game! Isn’t that one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?
  • The normally shaky Cubs defense didn’t commit a single error.
  • For once Mike Quade used Tony Campana correctly. He pinch ran for Soriano in the 8th and moved to LF in the 9th.  See how easy it is?

WHAT WENT WRONG

  • I had to sit through yet another Casey Coleman start. Somehow he always seems to get the ball for my VFTB wrap-ups. Is this some sort of twisted plot? In all seriousness, Casey pitched well tonight, which I mentioned earlier. I’m just sick of watching the guy.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. bit the hand that once fed him with a homer in the 3rd.
  • Carlos Marmol struggled again and gave up a run in the 9th. Believe it or not his ERA is approaching 4.00.
  • I was slow to react and couldn’t grab the remote before the 7th-inning stretch started. The guest “singer” was some NASCAR guy I’ve never heard of. Brutal.

DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME

Don’t worry Cub fans. Our long, painful nightmare (otherwise known as 2011) is almost over.

Soon we’ll learn who the next general manager, and possibly field manager, will be. Soon we’ll enjoy the Hot Stove League and arguing about who the Cubs should add and subtract. Soon it will be Spring Training 2012.

Until then, I’m trying hard to find the positives from this ugly season. Here goes nothing:

  • Maybe it wasn’t enough for some fans, but Starlin Castro showed improvement this year. I still can’t believe he’s only 21. Not even the Cubs will be able to screw up Castro. He’s going to be great.
  • Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez provided respectable power and on-base percentages this year.
  • Sean Marshall turned in another fantastic year out of the bullpen.
  • Matt Garza overcame six months of no run support to become the Cubs best starter.
  • Jeff Samardzija shocked almost everyone and developed into a useful reliever.
  • Randy Wells rescued a completely lost season with a 3.79 ERA in the second half.
  • The Cubs had a solid draft, highlighted by Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach.
  • Bryan LaHair supplied some September excitement to desperate fans.
  • The hapless Houston Astros play in the Cubs’ division.

How’s that for optimism?

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

1st Star – Geovany Soto (.408 WPA)

2nd Star – Casey Coleman (.240 WPA)

3rd Star  – Johnathan Lucroy (.069 WPA)

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