Brewers 7 @ Cubs 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Paul Maholm made his Cubs debut in less than spectacular fashion by coughing up five runs in the first inning to the visiting Brewers on a cold, 40 degree night at Wrigley. The Cubs would try to make a game of it but couldn’t close the gap in a 7-4 loss.

The Good

  • The Cubs put together a rally in the third inning, scoring three runs on three hits, a walk, and a sac fly by Jeff Baker.
  • Alfonso Soriano continued his hot start with two hits including a bases loaded single that scored two. He even made another nice play or two in left field.
  • David DeJesus was the only other Cubs with two hits and got on base a third time with a walk. Starlin Castro doubled and walked and Geovany Soto hit his first homer of the year.
  • On the pitching side, Rodrigo Lopez contributed two hitless innings and Lendy Castillo finished the game with a scoreless 9th.

The Bad

  • Marlon Byrd went 0-3 and is off to a rough 1-17 start to the 2012 season.
  • Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker also went hitless in the game leaving the 5-8 hitters a combined 1-13 on the night. The team was only 1-7 with runners in scoring position.
  • Rafael Dolis looks to have a pretty good fastball/breaking ball combo, but the control wasn’t there and he walked three men in his two innings of work.
  • Paul Maholm’s debut was an outing he’d like to forget. The Brewers had 10 men come to the plate in the first inning, with Maholm giving up five runs. Aramis Ramirez reached on a fielders choice and then promptly STOLE SECOND BASE! I couldn’t believe it either.

Thoughts?

I think Dale Sveum has the platoon situations backwards. Shouldn’t they be playing Bryan LaHair everyday, even against tough lefties like Cliff Lee, er, I mean, Chris Narveson? Instead, Jeff Baker got the nod at 1B.
But Dale’s played it the conventional way; platooning the inexperienced while playing the veteran (DeJesus) even though the veteran has plenty of evidence of struggling against left handers. Of course, DeJesus went on to get on base three times, so what do I know? I would just like to see LaHair play everyday rather than sitting against the likes of Chris Narveson simply because of the platoon advantage.
Ian Stewart hasn’t gotten the bat started yet, and who knows, it may never get started, but he has shown good defense which should save more than a few runs compared to the third base defense in previous years.

Ryan Dempster faces off against Yovani Gallardo in game 3 of the 4 game set on Wednesday at 1:20 CST.

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