Keep The Movie Rolling, But The Story’s Getting Old Now
Today’s Cubs loss to the Cardinals looked like the hundreds of Cubs losses to the Cardinals that I’ve seen in my lifetime. You could almost recite it from memory.
Cubs have tons of chances to score, but ground into double plays. Cardinals get questionable strike called a ball, get big hit on very next pitch. Pick on bad Cub relievers. Controversial call goes their way because they always do. And every opportunity they’re given, they take. The Cubs only leave little cracks, but the water still floods the basement.
It’s a little harsh on Jeff Russell, who really has been far and away the only sure thing out of the pen. But of course his one dodgy outing would come against the one team I would give anything for it not come against. From his first breaking ball today you could tell it just didn’t have a lot of snap to it, which it normally does.
Nothing good happens when Michael Bowden comes in. I feel like that’s just universal law by now.
At least Anthony Rizzo is still sparking, and I wouldn’t be that opposed to leaving Valbuena ahead of him with the rate he’s walking. In fact, he probably should be batting second but Sveum is so terrified of having consecutive left-handed hitters anywhere in the lineup it’ll never happen.
At least once today, and I think twice, Starlin Castro came up with runners on and the Cubs churning and swung at the first pitch. Once caused a double play. When is this going to stop? When is Castro going to let a pitcher come to him in at least a big situation? When am I allowed to demand growth? Have we passed that point?
I bet a few GMs that have signed him have looked at Ryan Sweeney and said the same thing I have. “That dude looks like a player.” Because he does. He moves gracefully, he’s got that lean build, a classic stance, a pretty nice swing. And yet it doesn’t hit anything.
It’s frustrating because the Cubs played such a tight game last night, with Travis Wood once again exceptional. Really encouraged by what he’s been this year, as he’s cut down on the walks and improved on the amount of ground balls he’s throwing. He’s got more confidence in his slider and and cutter this year, which is keeping hitters off balance. They’re only at a 16% line-drive rate on him, which is Seuss-ian.
Oh well, on to DC where the Cubs were only outscored 31-6 in four games last year.