Reds 1 @ Cubs 6

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right:

  • Almost everything.
  • Paul Maholm gave up another lead in the first inning–it was the sixth first-inning run he’s surrendered in his three starts.  But from there he buckled down, giving up only two more hits over the next five innings.  He also recorded five strikeouts on his way to his first win as a Cub.
  • For the first time in what seems like forever, the Cubs had productive hitters up and down the lineup.  DeJesus, Castro, and Mather each had two hits, and Barney and Clevenger had three a piece.  And they weren’t cheap hits, either–the Cubs combined for four doubles and Castro legged out a triple that was just shy of the basket in left field.  Their fourteen hits today constitute a season high, and the four-run second inning was arguably the best the team has looked at the plate all season.
  • Wonder of wonders–our relief pitchers provided actual relief today.  James Russell did surrender two hits, but they could have just as easily been ruled errors on Tony Campana.  Well, maybe not the second one–either way, the bullpen was efficient today in the kind of game they’ve been apt to throw away lately.
  • Reed Johnson continued his tradition of being the man by coming in to pinch hit in the eighth and belting a leadoff double down the left field line.

What Went Wrong:

  • Very little.  There were a couple of mistakes in the field, but none of them proved to be costly.  Castro lost the handle on a couple sharp grounders, and Tony Campana came up short on a couple fly balls–one that he appeared to lose in the sun at the last second.  You can find things to gripe about in a game like this, but what’s the fun in that?

Game Notes:

  • Ryan Demptser joined Kerry Wood on the DL today with a quad injury, opening a spot for the aforementioned Campana to rejoin the team.  Dempster was scheduled to make a start tomorrow, and the word is Randy Wells will be promoted to take his spot in the rotation.  However, the Cubs won’t need to demote anyone to make room for Wells because…
  • The Cubs traded Marlon Byrd to Boston for reliever Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.  Like many Cubs fans, I always appreciated Byrd’s hustle, but he hasn’t been the same player since he was hit in the face (by the Red Sox) last season, especially at the plate.  We all knew he didn’t have a future with the Cubs–this was inevitable.  Give credit to the Cubs front office for finding a taker after Byrd’s horrific start to the season.  Cubs fans will get a chance to say goodbye in mid-June when the Red Sox come back to Wrigley Field.
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