Cubs (5) @ Pirates (2)
This was a long night of baseball and it was filled with some weird incidents. Instead of waxing poetic about the Cubs first week of the season I will get right into the game notes…
First thing is first, Arrieta pitched a beauty of game, but the way the first inning went, it looked like it was going the other way. After the first inning he kept the ball from leaving the infield with exception of a hit or two. Kris Bryant had a nice night at the plate going 3-4, BB, 4 RBI’s (in fairness, he also hit into a double play with RISP and 1 out but we’ll let that pass for now). Soler went 4-4 making his presence felt yet again. This team is getting fun to watch people, fun, fun, fun.
- The first three innings were slower than erosion. There was a 45 minute rain delay to start things off. A woman was hit in the head with a foul ball behind home plate, it was fouled straight back and actually hit the net and then hit her while she was being seated in the first row by the usher. It looked awful and made for a 25 minute delay, last report was that she was okay, which is what’s important. To cap it all off Arrieta stepped on his own hit and was called out. That sounds weird and it was the first time I have actually witnessed this, but he took one of those wild pitcher hacks at a pitch and slapped it straight into the ground. He then proceeded to step on the ball clumsily and was called out. Only a pitcher could accomplish this feat, but if it were a true Cubbie Occurrence Arietta would have sprained his ankle and spent a few weeks on the DL, instead he want on to throw a gem of a game….so we got that going for us.
- I am wondering if the Pirates want their money back on Jung Ho Kang? Outside of being unable to hit MLB pitching thus far, he managed to throw a ball into right field that could have started a big inning, but it didn’t because we like to hit into double plays with runners in scoring position. That being said he has been a disaster since spring training started.
- Pirate catcher Francisco Cervelli reminds me of Francis (AKA, Psycho) from the movie Stripes…just a thought.
- So back to that full moon thing, there was a double challenge tonight! In the top of the 5th Rizzo was called safe on a bang bang play at home. The play was challenged by the Pirates and they won, he was called out as a result of the challenge. Joe Maddon immediately re-challenged the play, as it appeared that Cervelli was blocking the plate. I have to agree, it looked like classic blocking the plate, but Joe West and company did not, he remained out.
- More strange stuff, Bryant hit the ball and scored on the same play, but it was not a homerun. The hit itself would have made it to the seats in 90% of the ballparks in the league, but Pittsburgh’s left center field is cavernous. Literally, I think there is a cave back there somewhere. Nonetheless, he crushed a 99 mph fast ball and continues to prove he is Major League talent. Find a highlight for yourself somewhere as it would take me too long to explain what happened. It’s worth the watch though….
- In the 8th inning the stadium started to erupt in Hyena calls. The Cubs were at the plate and it went on for most of the inning. I can’t make this stuff up. The Five Thousand in attendance were having some fun.
THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY
1959 -At Wrigley Field, Stan Musial breaks up Glen Hobbie‘s no-hitter with a two-out seventh inning double. The 23 year-old right-hander settles for a one-hitter, going the distance in the Cubs’ 1-0 victory over the Cardinals.
1966 - The Phillies obtain Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl from the Cubs in exchange for future Hall of Fame hurler Ferguson Jenkins, outfielder Adolfo Phillips, and first baseman/outfielder John Herrnstein. The pair of right-handers will post a 47-53 record collectively for Philadelphia as Chicago’s new moundsman will win twenty or more games for six consecutive seasons starting in 1967.