Box Score / Highlights

The Cubs came out and took care of business and won game one of the series with Houston after being embarrassed by the Cardinals last series.

June hasn’t quite gone as I had planned for this team. I thought we had a shot to be around .500 for the month base on the schedule and the better play we saw in May. Unfortunately things have been bad. This series we get a reprieve from the difficult games and play perhaps the worst team in all of baseball. It’s defintely between them and the Marlins. I got excited about that and then I looked at the standings and realized we’ve gotten very close to overtaking them for that crown. I don’t believe this team is as bad as their record shows, but until we see results, you are what your record says you are. On Friday, the win said we played well.

Matt Garza tossed a strong, eight inning, outing. It comes on the heels of the seven inning, no run performance he turned in for his last start. At this point, you have to figure Garza will get roughly eight or nine starts before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. If that ERA can be below 4.00 and he continues to show the ability to work into the 7th and 8th inning of starts, the Cubs should have suitors lined up outside their door to discuss potential deals. I’m not one that believes we should invest in a long term deal for him, so I’m holding my breath and hoping for a big-time haul of young talent coming back in return for Garza.

Lineup Construction – Just so no one is accusing me of complaining when things are down, I’m going to complain about the lineup construction and I’m gonna do it on a day that Darwin Barney had three hits out of the leadoff spot. Why in the world is Barney in the leadoff spot? He’s sporting an OBP less than .300 and that’s after the three hit day today. He has no business that high in the order unless he’s playing in a lineup full of pitchers, and even then I’d have to strongly consider Travis Wood over him. I continue to marvel at how dumb managers and GM’s came be in these areas. So many fail to see common sense logic and so many fail to think outside of the box. You want as many men on base for the best hitters that come after them. Just because a guy is short and “scrappy” does not mean he automatically gets penciled in to the leadoff spot. It’s as if people don’t know what to do with that spot so they use it as a catch all for guys that aren’t very good hitters. At this point, with David DeJesus on the DL, guys like Ryan Sweeney or Dioner Navarro would have been better options in this game based on the numbers they have put up this year.

It’s hard to end a win on a complaint (don’t even get me started about the ignorance that is a 13 man pitching staff), but that’s what you get when you’re this far under .500, that’s what you get.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail