Boxscore / Condensed / Highlights

The Cubs are holding steady at last place in the NL Central, but there is a glimmer of hope for better days to come. The youngsters are already showing signs of improvement and maturity, and they give us peeks of brilliance on the ballfield. Call me a dreamer, but I’m already looking forward to the second half of the season to see who Theo & Co. decides bring and how the pieces will fall into place.

The Bad:

This game was fantastic. Nothing happened that was horrendous enough to even talk about, not even the broadcasting.

The Good:

Batting:

Castro brought in his 40th RBI of the season with a single up the middle in the fifth, which was followed by Rizzo’s first home run in Cubbie blue. It was a 2-run shot to right, landing 378 from home plate to put the Cubs up 3-2. Thankfully Wrigley Field is still in once piece after all the celebrating that happened. If exciting things keep happening, which I have no doubt they will be, those Wrigley renovations are going to be necessary very soon.

Pitching:

The Castro-Rizzo RBI combo ended up being all that we needed today, as Garza only gave up 2 runs and the bullpen actually held the lead! When Garza was pulled in the top of the 6th, I was upset. Nervous. Even a bit apprehensive. Our bullpen stinks. But much to my delighted surprise, Scott Maine allowed a single and the rest of bullpen pitched a no-hitter. Even Marmol pitched well. Yes, that Marmol. He only gave up one walk! It was surprising and refreshing to see a one-run lead preserved like it was.

The Cubs are now 7-34 in games where they score 4 runs or fewer. Take that stat how you will.

Defense:

Solid defense was everywhere. Luis Valbuena turned a DP after a bobble, Barney stumbled his way to second before turning the twin-killing, and DeJesus and Soriano both had outfield assists. And with all those great defensive plays, there were no errors. Katie was such a happy girl.

Summary:

The Cubs have won their second straight series. In a season where there is not much to be excited about, two straight series wins is very, very exciting. Valbuena, Castro, and Rizzo are all looking promising. Rizzo has only played four games, but it seems that he has brought a subtle new life to the team. He hits. He almost did the splits today stretching to receive a throw. He’s got a great smile. He’s a tall drink of water for this team. We’re all digging it.

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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