Giants 4 @ Cubs 6
Volstad Wins Again
Not quite as sharp as his last outing, but Chris Volstad is making a case as the Cubs best starter for the last two months of the season. Volstad averaged 6+ innings during his 6 August starts, while posting a 3.72 ERA. Jeff Samardzija’s numbers in August were only slightly better. It was Volstad’s second win of the season, making our own Joe Aiello’s prediction come true before the end of the month. He stifled the Giants’ attack while the Cubs built for him a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Middle Of The Order
The combination of Rizzo, Soriano, Castro, and Castillo were largely responsible for the damage on Friday. Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner couldn’t keep that quartet off the scoreboard, as the Cubs tallied runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th with some combination of their 3-6 hitters (with reliever George Kontos giving up the HR to Rizzo in the 5th). The Cubs got a bit aggressive on the basepaths and at the plate after building that big lead. Shawn Camp would give up two runs in the 8th that made this game look closer than it really was. But Marmol made quick work of the Giants in the 9th and the Cubs registered their 51st win of the year.
Soriano and Rizzo both hit HRs for the Cubs, albeit in very different manners. Soriano took a 2 out, 0-2 pitch and drilled it onto Waveland for a 2-run HR in the 3rd. It was one of those patented Soriano bombs that he stands and admires because he’s absolutely crushed it. Rizzo, however, took a pitch to centerfield but found himself sprinting into third base. Halfway between first and second Rizzo had to speed up his HR trot because second base umpire Dale Scott had ruled the ball live as it bounced back to the CF grass. Rizzo’s HR had quickly careened off the basket, then the top of the outfield wall on the other side of the basket and bounced back onto the field. Blind Dale Scott was one of the few people in the park who saw this as NOT a HR. So thank instant replay for Rizzo’s HR. After he’d slid safely into third with a triple, the umpires correctly reversed and Rizzo continued on the final 90 feet. It amazes me that umpires still miss calls like that; Giants’ CF Angel Pagan had reacted as though it was a HR, so had all the fans, Rizzo saw it as a HR. In fact, it’s possible that only Dale Scott thought it didn’t clear the fence.