Star of the Game – Edwin Jackson – .145 (WPA)
This game featured two starting pitchers with similar beginnings to the 2013 campaign. Both Shaun “I spell my name wrong” Marcum and Edwin Jackson came into the game with bad records and high ERAs, but the peripherals suggested that they were pitching much better than the results (they came in with 3.38 and 2.90 FIPs, respectively). Also, they each had a nice start the last time out.
Edwin continued the trend. He pitched 6 innings, striking out 7 (he had a nasty slider tonight), and allowed only 1 earned run. James Russell came into the game in the 7th and made things interested by giving up 2 runs for the first time this year (his season ERA is still an excellent 2.03). Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence). Speaking of unbelievable things, I actually think Gregg, packaged with another player (see below), could bring back a non-non-prospect in return. Who would have thought that…well, ever?
The Cubs offense got on the board early with a Nate Schierholtz solo blast in the top of the 1st (see, isn’t Dale a genius for knowing that Nate needed an at-bat in the 1st inning?). The bats really broke out in the 2nd, scoring 4 runs (such a rare thing these days). The inning was capped-off by a David DeJesus 3-run triple – a shot that would have left most ballparks.
It was nice to see Anthony Rizzo have a nice game at the plate. He had 3 hits, including a ringing double, and scored 2 runs. No, I don’t think his moving down in the order had anything to do with it, but it obviously didn’t hurt. I have a feeling that both Rizzo and Starlin Castro are due to break out soon. By the way, has anyone else noticed that Castro is alternating between 2 different types of bat every plate appearance?
Perhaps the biggest story from this game is the DeJesus injury. He injured his shoulder colliding with the center field wall as he attempted to catch a deep fly ball off the bat of Juan Lagares. The x-rays showed a shoulder sprain – which could mean a lot of things, I suppose. DeJesus will be placed on the 15-day DL. I don’t want to sound cynical, but the biggest impact this will have on the Cubs is whatever effect this injury has on DeJesus’ trade value. I could really see DeJesus, especially as part of a package (see above), netting a decent prospect or two in return.
Dale Sveum said after the game that the Cubs may bring up a bullpen arm immediately while they decide what outfielder to call up (the Cubs did play a 14-inning game, so they could probably use an extra arm for a day or so). Brooks Raley (who was just sent down to make room for Henry Rodriguez) and Chris Rusin are the two Iowa pitchers currently on the 40-man roster.
Things could get interesting when the Cubs bring up an outfielder to replace DeJesus, but I doubt that they will. If we’re assuming the Cubs will bring up someone already on the 40-man (which they don’t have to do, necessarily, but it would seem to make sense), here’s how I would rate the candidates:
Boring: Dave Sappelt
Intriguing: Brett Jackson (he’s still struggling, so I really can’t see the benefit of bringing him up).
Hype-inducing: Junior Lake. This would be the most fun for all of us, but there’s no need to rush him up now, and he’s just getting settled in AAA. There’s no way this is going to happen.
So, it will probably be good ol’ boring, Dave “I-defend-Ian-Stewart-on-Twitter” Sappelt. If the Cubs were going to make a 40-man move, Brian Bogusevic has had a really nice season, and it would be good to see what he could do with the major league club.
This will be my last post for a few weeks – I’m getting married next weekend, and I’ll be travelling all over for a few weeks. It’s been tons of fun writing for this site, and I look forward to returning later in the summer. Thanks for reading – see you soon!