My goal for this recap is to write it in the same amount of time as the Cubs have scored runs during their eight game losing streak. In case you haven’t checked the MLB schedule lately, the Cubs have scored sixteen runs during the streak, fourteen of which came in three of the eight games. The only team not to shut them out was the Dodgers and somehow a weak Padres staff did it twice.
When Joe texted me a little bit before game time asking if anyone wanted to take the recap from him because he’d likely fall asleep, I obliged. I will consider this my Christmas and birthday presents for him all wrapped into one. You are welcome Joe.
I’ll be honest though, when I saw where this game was headed — shocking I know — I quickly tuned into some other work I needed to get done by tonight. I hope you will all forgive me for such a transaction, although I’m assuming many of you decided to watch beach volleyball instead. Good choice!
Shark pitched well enough to win again, it’s really unfortunate that he’ll likely finish the year with 14 or 15 losses because the team won’t score runs. Castro also broke his hitting drought in the losing effort. Yay!
Aside from starting pitching, everything was bad. Defense wasn’t THAT sharp, but efficient enough to back up Samardzija’s strong effort. Rizzo had his first error as a pro on a ground ball.
Vitters is swinging too early in counts, which isn’t a surprise considering it is a sickness that plagues most of the Cubs’ hitters. Be patient and wait for a pitch you want. I don’t care if the kid is young and nervous, I’d rather see him take a few pitches than the weak at-bats we’ve been seeing from him. At least our strikeout average went down today with Brett Jackson on the bench. These kids are obviously going to go through growing pains, as will the team until they figure it out. Everyone’s expectations have been tempered season wise after the trade deadline and the young guys need to realize that this is their audition for the future. Wins and losses no longer matter or shouldn’t to fans, but at-bats and fielding efforts do. None of these guys should take their roster spot for granted, because I can assure you that Jed and Theo are watching closely with final record no longer being a factor.
The Cubbies returned the favor and let the Padres sweep them on their home turf after doing it to them at Wrigley. Maybe they were thinking about Christmas presents too.
Anthony Rizzo turned 23 today on the same day my father also celebrates his date of birth. Unfortunately he is a Red Sox fan and likely will not read my shout out. He would like us to send Rizzo back to him as his birthday present. Theo has politely declined the request.
It will be interesting to see how the young Cubs respond heading back to Wrigley with the “red hot” Reds swinging into town. The two teams have been heading in very different directions over the last month, but the Cubs as mentioned by others have played good teams well at home. Chris Volstad, Justin Germano and Travis Wood get the nods in that series. If that doesn’t give you confidence that the losing streak will end then I don’t know what will.