This baseball team is just plain fun to watch. It would be a little more fun to watch on Central time, but beggars can’t be choosy. Here are a few notes from the game:
PITCHING – Jon Lester went 6 solid innings, with 10 Ks, 5 hits, and 3 ER. He has yet to collect his first Major League hit, but I know it will happen someday. It is hard to tell if Bryant’s first home run or Lester’s first hit will be more fun. (I am just kidding. We all know that Lester’s hit will be much more fun.) THE BULLPEN, my goodness. Thankfully Brian Schlitter and Edwin Jackson were nowhere near the mound tonight. Gonzalez Germen pitched well and Zac Rosscup was lights out – 3 Ks, no hits or walks. Jason Motte was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th with a little help from his friends, and Hector Rondon closed it out rather effortlessly. Overall, a decent bullpen outing was had. I only suffered a partial heart attack this time.
HITTING – The hitting was sparse, but it happened, important things happened. Lester and Mike Leake both pitched very well, giving up 3 runs apiece, and they were spread out. Dexter Fowler broke up the perfect game with a double in the top of the fourth, and Anthony Rizzo tied it up with a 2-run shot. Most of the middle innings were 1-2-3 innings. The top of the 9th was interesting when Rizzo reached second on a fielding error by Marlon Byrd, Bryant drew a walk off Aroldis Chapman, and an attempted hit-and-run turned into a double steal when Starlin Castro did not make contact, but the boys ran anyway. The inning ended and Rizzo and KB were stranded. The real fun happened in the top of the 11th, however. With two men on, Jonathan Herrera hit an RBI single. Then David Ross hit an RBI double off the wall. Then Travis Wood had an RBI groundout and the Cubs were up by four runs. Yes, you read that right. The Cubs were up by four(!) runs. Runs that were scored in extras. Consecutively. In one inning.
DEFENSE – Addison Russell. Bottom 5. Billy Hamilton (who has stolen three bases already at this point), leading off. He grounds one to second and Addison dives for it and throws it over to first just a hair before Hamilton does. It was incredible. Watch it:
— MLB (@MLB) April 25, 2015
- Seems to me like Russell and Germens’ names are backwards. Addison and Gonzalez are last names. Apparently, their parents didn’t get that memo.
- Bryant walks a lot. It’s all fine and great, but I’d also like to see him get some hits, collect a few RBIs, etc. It’ll come with time, I know, I’m just impatient. He sure is fun to watch, though.
- Russell achieved Golden Sombrero status with 4 Ks and a popout in this game. He’s young (younger than me!) and has some learning to do. I’m not all that worried about him with his defense being so spectacular, though.
- I recently stumbled upon a song. It’s by the band NeedtoBreathe. Give it a listen:
I don’t know about you, but I know that last years Cubs would have rolled over and died in the bottom of the 10th when the bases were loaded with Reds. This time the tides have turned. It’s a totally different team. I even kind of like Castro now. These kids never say die.
So with that, goodbye 2009-2014 Cubs. You’re nothing but a memory. I ain’t missing you at all.
THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY
1876 – The Chicago White Stockings make their National League debut with a 4-0 victory over the Grays at the Louisville Baseball Park. The franchise, which will be also known as the Colts and Orphans before becoming the Cubs in 1903, will finish in first place in the circuit’s inaugural season.
1976 – During the fourth inning of the game being played at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday becomes a national hero when he takes away an American Flag about to be set on fire by the two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield. The Cubs’ 30-year old fly chaser, who served six years in the Marine Reserves, will be presented the flag a month later in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field by L.A. executive Al Campanis as a gesture of patriotic thanks.
1978 – At Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the Phillie Phanatic makes his debut in a game against the Cubs. The six foot green mascot with a 90-inch waistline is played by Dave Raymond, who will keep the job for 15 years after starting as an intern in the team’s front office.
1989 – With former players on hand, including Billy Herman, Andy Pafko and Billy Williams, the Cubs celebrate the 75th anniversary of Wrigley Field with a 4-0 victory over L.A. at the Friendly Confines. The ‘ceremonial’ first pitch of the game, a spitball, is thrown by 97-year old Bob Wright, who appeared in two games for Chicago in 1915 when the team played their home games at West Side Park.