Brewers 2 @ Cubs 1

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Cold temperatures and the early start ensured a lot of empty seats for the Cubs 2-1 loss against the Brewers, a game that matched the two team’s aces against each other.   Ryan Dempster pitched well enough to win for the second time this season, but another offensive outage left him with none.

THE GOOD

  • David DeJesus leading off the game with a double was a pleasant surprise. DeJesus scored two batters later on a sac fly by Starlin Castro to give the Cubs the early lead.
  • Dempster pitched well once again, a complete 180 from his brutal April in 2011. He was one bad pitch away from likely getting out of through the seventh unscathed and setting himself up for the win. His ERA is 1.88 and he has 15 K’s through 14.1 innings pitched with a (0-1) record to show for it. Unfortunate.
  • Soriano continues to make solid plays in the outfield. I’m sure this won’t last throughout the entire season, but it seems like he has taken to some advice from new OF/1B coach Dave McKay. It wasn’t pretty, but Soriano made a great grab in the fifth inning to save a base hit by Carlos Gomez.
  • Steve Clevenger came in for a pinch hit double in the ninth. I have a feeling we’ll see more of him in the later innings moving forward because of the raw power he possesses.
  • Aside from the daily walk by Carlos Marmol, the bullpen pitched very well. The combo of James Russell, Kerry Wood and Marmol went 2.1 innings with 6 K’s and no hits allowed. Wood entered the day with one strikeout and three walks given up, but he struck out the side in the eighth.

THE BAD

  • The early run was nice, but the offense sputtered to get anything going after that. DeJesus’ double was the only extra-base-hit until Clevenger’s last gasp two bagger in the ninth. That’s not going to get it done.
  • The lack of consistent power in this lineup was well documented leading up to the season, but it looks even worse now that we are a few games in. I know home runs aren’t the end all be all in terms of run production, but the Cubs currently have three through six games. There are currently seven players with the same amount, including David Freese. DAVID FREESE!
  • There were a few at bats today that absolutely baffled me, specifically those by Byrd and Soto in the seventh. I get that the team is going with the aggressive approach at the plate, but both players had similar at bats to the one Castro had to end the game the other night. They swung at pitches way out of the zone on the first few pitches and THEN became patient. Geo struck out swinging on the fifth pitch of the at-bat, but Byrd just sat and looked at a pitch that was clearly on the corner. If you are going to be aggressive, be aggressive.

THE UGLY

  • Byrd is now 1-21 on the season. His only hit was in his second at-bat of the season when he drove in Ian Stewart for the first Cubs run of the season. Just looking rather quickly, I believe this is Byrd’s worst start to a season in his career.

GENERAL THOUGHTS

Things aren’t going to get any easier tomorrow for the Cub batters as they face Zack Greinke. As terrible as this sounds I’m hoping for one of two things: Matt Garza pitches out of his mind and the batters get to Greinke early or Garza pitches awful. I can’t stand to watch them waste another great outing by a starting pitcher.

I actually missed the last two innings of the game because I’m moonlighting at a movie theater until my new job starts in May. Since I couldn’t check the score on my phone, I set my score updates to a specific vibrate to let me know if someone had scored. I didn’t receive any mini tremors in my pocket because the Cubs forgot to bring out the thunder sticks.

Here’s hoping they pull it off tomorrow. I can’t stand getting swept, never mind to a division rival.

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