The Good: Travis Wood. Wood pitched an excellent game, tying his career-high with eight strike outs and only one walk. He gave up an RBI single to Todd Frazier in the fourth but after that he cruised all the way through til the 7th inning and ended his five-game losing streak.
Because Wood was pitching so well for most of the game, the offense was mostly quiet. Dave DeJesus singled home Valbuena and LaHair, who reached on a double and a walk, respectively. Dave accounted for all our offense today and Valbuena brought his average up to .208! The wind was blowing in, so Arroyo can’t take too much credit for the Cubs quiet bats.
There were zero errors. That’s right, zero. Zilch. Nada. That is a large improvement from the five errors yesterday. And to top it off, Soriano doubled Ludwick off second in the eighth! Mr. Soriano has been playing some pretty good ball lately, and it almost makes me feel bad for so harshly criticizing him. Almost.
The Bad: The offense was much too quiet. Generally, the leadoff man should not provide most of the offense for a team. But maybe after the flurry of runs yesterday, everyone was worn out and the team was too tired. Or maybe they were busy admiring Wood’s outing.
They must have been busy admiring Wood’s outing and forgot that sometimes James Russell ruins quality starts. Russell entered the game in the eighth and promptly gave up a leadoff double. Then a single. Then another double. Right before our very eyes, the Cubs were losing. Then the beautiful Soriano/Barney double-play took place, then a double, stolen base, and RBI single. The damage was done. Not even Rizzo could give us any offense, went 0 for 4, and his average dropped to .298 on the season.
Summary: The Cubs have lost 10 out of their last 11 games. Honestly, I’m not surprised by the stinkiness of the team. Not only have we been stinky for the past few years, we traded away a few foundational pieces and are trying to replace them with inexperienced youth. Hopefully Theo and Jed prove themselves to be geniuses with their actions, otherwise I fear for their well-being if they end up looking like fools.
If they can pawn Soriano off on somebody, they will forever be geniuses in my eyes. Here’s to hoping!