Pirates 8 @ Cubs 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Yesterday I mentioned that a big reason why the rest of the season may not be fun to watch from a win / loss standpoint would be because of the rotation. Today, it was the bullpen, specifically Shawn Camp, that let us down. Let’s get to some notes:

  • Prior to the game, the Cubs sent down Casey Coleman and recalled Chris Volstad and Alberto Cabrera. I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. I called it last night on Twitter. Please, no applause. Say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and you too can be as great as me. If not, you can always fall back on a gig as a Hulkamaniac. Volstad will be available out of the pen, but should be slated to pitch Saturday. Set your Tivo’s now folks.
  • That move got me thinking about what the rotation should look like. At this point, Matt Garza is still your ace, followed by Jeff Samardzija. From there, I think you have to slot in today’s starter, Travis Wood, as the number three guy and then it’s all hell breaking loose with the fourth and fifth spots and Justin Germano, Volstad, Coleman, and maybe even someone likeRandy Wells again if the Cubs want to add him back to the 40 man roster. Like I said, it’s not going to be pretty, but it will give us a chance to evaluate what we’ve got going forward. With Garza set to be moved in the off-season this rotation could be in for major overhaul before opening day next year.
  • Darwin Barney missed the game today after being hit in the head yesterday. Len and Bob reported that he’s shown no signs of a concussion and should, if all goes as planned, be back in the lineup on Friday. That makes the joke I made after he was hit a little less inappropriate.
  • Wood got the start today and, while he didn’t look terrible, didn’t look great either. If you didn’t notice or couldn’t put your finger on what was different about him in this outing, it was the fact that he shaved his head. My guess is that he was going for the reverse Samson, though it didn’t really work. I still trust Wood as part of the rotation of the future and believe in his promise. You should too.
  • Bryan LaHair has been mired in a bit of a slump lately, so it was nice to see him go 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of legit doubles down the line. My one complain was the poor base running in the 2nd that cost the Cubs a run. It wasn’t a game changer, but had we not had to see Shawn Camp on the mound, it may have been a difference maker in the game. If you missed the play, LaHair led off the inning with a double and then tagged up on a fly ball to right. WellingtonCastillo hit a ground ball to the middle infield that the fielder had to play with all his momentum taking him back toward the outfield. There was no way he could have thrown out LaHair at the plate. If he takes a good secondary lead and pays attention, it’s a run. Instead he ended up stranded at third with the inning over.
  • Starlin Castro hit his 11th home run of the season. If you’re scoring at home, that’s one more than he had all season last year. There is always going to be the people who feel he’s not a Theo and Jed guy and that the Cubs should be looking to move him. Theo guy or not, the kid can play and the kid can hit. I can’t even begin to imagine the type of player he’s going to be when he hits his prime. I honestly think he could be a 30 / 30 guy with a legit MVP chance. Just give him time. Power will continue to develop and with it will also come maturity. Give him time. I believe in him, and again, you should too.
  • I have to apologize to all of you. I’m deeply ashamed for something I did. Please don’t judge me as I confess this. I actually wondered to myself at 4pm EDT on the 31st why no one had any interest in Camp as a quality veteran out of the pen for the stretch run. Today he reminded me why no one called. I’m sorry for losing focus and forgetting that our pen was terrible. Please forgive me.
  • Castillo made his bid to win the heart of Lizzie with a long, meaningless, home run in the 9th. It’s funny, as the Cubs were making a “comeback” in the 9th, you see the few fans left in the stadium standing and cheering like the team was coming back. Take a look at the graph at the top of the post. That mini rally didn’t really register as anything more than a hiccup in an otherwise one-sided game.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail