I was pretty excited this morning when I got the text about the Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters call-up to the big league club and that they would indeed be in uniform, with Jackson getting the start in center. I was even more excited that it coincided with my recap slot because I generally end up with one sided losses. Luck of the draw I suppose.
While the loss theme didn’t change much from the norm, the entertainment value was enjoyable in a somewhat monumental game for the team. Only the predictably leaky bullpen could ruin such an event, which of course is exactly what they did.
The Famous Brett Jackson
It might have been surprising to some that Jackson, struggling at the plate in the AAA ranks, got a big league start before the hot-hitting Vitters did. From a hitting perspective I suppose that would be true, but defensively the Jackson start in center allows the Cubs to be better. It returns David DeJesus to his more natural position and takes Bryan LaHair out of the outfield, which will ultimately render him to spot pinch hitting duty.
Jackson had a positive debut at the plate, recording two singles and a walk, crossing the plate once. In the field, he misplayed a deep fly ball initially but recovered for a routine grab on the warning track. Nothing to really harp on though. Jackson might have a few good games over the next week or so until big league clubs get a chance to see some of his at bats.
Vitters also got an unceremonious first at bat, pinch hitting for Scott Maine, which I somehow missed until looking at the box score. I’ll be looking forward to watching his likely first start against the Padres.
LaHair and the Tortoise
Bob put it bluntly well today after his pinch hit at bat, saying that the guy is just searching for something. LaHair has clearly lost the swagger or confidence he had to start the season. He’s also losing any value he had in terms of trade value with each flail at the plate. His All-Star bid feels like a light year ago and unfortunately so does the last time we’ve seen LaHair connect on a pitch. I can’t even think of any possible solutions for him other than to look for a waiver trade or to send him back to Iowa. Neither is a very comfortable circumstance for the Cubs or LaHair.
Did it seem to anyone else that this game was unbelievably predictable? I saw the Soriano double before it happened and the Ethier two RBI hit to retake the lead too. Cubs relievers have long backed themselves in predictable and precarious situations with no signs of letting up anytime soon. Only one reliever lasted for an inning or more, Shawn Camp, who coincidentally was the one who received the loss. Scott Maine and James Russell both blew “save” opportunities, giving up runs inherited by the previous pitchers, Manny Corpas and Alberto Cabrera. Needless to say it was a group effort to lose this game today, as often it is.
Justin Germano pitched well for five innings until a sloppy sixth knocked him from the game. I’ve liked what he’s been able to do for the most part.
Can We Leave Cali?
If I ran WGN, I would fire the guy that plays music on the way to commercial breaks. If I hear this once during the San Diego series I’m writing a letter to someone. We get that Los Angeles is in California, give it a break.