These games are a lot more fun then all those stupid late inning losses that the Cubs have been experiencing. Today’s game was rarely in doubt thanks to a ginormous third inning for the Cubs as they put up six runs and seven hits to break the game wide open. Matt Garza made that hold up and then some as he was lights out all day. Garza went 8 and 2/3rds innings surrendering only three hits, and two walks while striking out nine on the day. Garza was one out away from a complete game when he got what seemingly was the final out on a ground ball right back to him, instead he launched the throw about 20 rows deep over LaHair’s head which also ended his day. Shawn Camp came in and got the final out to secure the victory, and send the Cubs to St. Louis feeling a little better about themselves.
The day started very similar to yesterday’s game as Zack Grienke mowed the Cubs down 1-2-3 in the first two innings only using 27 pitches to do so. It looked like a different Cubs team in the third inning as the Cubs offense finally exploded. Steve Clevenger, who was giving Geovany Soto a day off, lead the third inning off with a double to left field. Reed Johnson, who was giving Marlon Byrd a day off, wasted no time knocking Clevenger in with a single to left field to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. After Garza couldn’t get a sacrifice bunt down the next five guys singled off of Grienke, DeJesus, Barney, Castro, Soriano, and Stewart all registered hits. When the dust settled the Cubs were up 6-0 and the outcome was all but decided. For good measure the Cubs added two more runs in the fourth inning on base hits by DeJesus and by Castro to give the Cubs an 8-0 lead through four innings. The only left undecided was whether or not Garza would finish off what he started, he didn’t, in spectacular fashion. Garza said as much at his post game press conference which is a must see (below). The Cubs finish their first home stand of the season at 2-5, and head for St. Louis to take on the defending champs. The Cubs get a friendly reminder of that too as the Cardinals will receive their World Series rings in front of the Cubs on Friday Night.
Born on Third’s Thoughts:
I told you! Okay, all things considered I think it was pretty obvious that the Cubs would have a solid shot at taking this game as it is very hard to sweep a four game series. That said, it was a hell of an effort all around for the Cubs. Great to see Clevenger get a start, and make it count, Soto needs at least a day off, maybe a couple. I know it’s early in the season but right now his head is not on straight and if Clevenger can do anything with the bat he should be out there. Same goes for Byrd and whoever wants to spell him in CF, at this point he needs to sit, it is what is best for the team at this point. Matt Garza, what can you say? He was lights out today, and I love the fact that he went right after the Brewers hitters after he had a big lead, too many pitchers continue to nibble. I really feel for him, he desperately wanted that complete game, but I love to hear the passion he has to do his job the right way, it’s refreshing. One in a row! Bring on the Champs.
Quote of the year so far:
“We might have just witnessed the greatest worst throw of all time.”
– Manager Dale Sveum, on Matt Garza’s wild toss in the ninth inning that went for an error and prevented him from a complete game.
Thanks for reading,
– George Cotugno