This is starting to resemble a real winning streak, not just a few games, but an actual legitimate winning streak. The Cubs had everything working for them today as they pitched, hit, and played solid defense, that usually wins a lot of games. The Cubs only needed one inning in this one as they scored five times in the third inning to take a 7-0 lead en route to a 7-2 victory, their fifth straight. The big blow came from Scott Hairston, who must have been taking pointers from Travis Wood before the game as he mashed a grand slam, just like Wood did a day earlier. After the third inning the Cubs didn’t do much with the bats, but they didn’t need to as Matt Garza was outstanding in picking up his first win of the season. Garza worked seven strong innings giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four, he didn’t walk anybody. Over the last five games, the Cubs are 15-for-38 with runners in scoring position, that is mind-boggling for a team that hasn’t been above .200 as a team in what seems like forever.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
Another lefty on the mound and another loss for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be a historically bad season. The Cubs record against left-handed pitchers dropped to 3-16 on the season after Wade Miley shut the door in a 5-1 victory for the Diamondbacks. The Cubs did nothing all day, which is a shame because Matt Garza had one of, if not his best road outing of the season. Garza went seven strong innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out seven. The loss drops Garza to 3-6 on the season with a 4.06 ERA. As I said, the Cubs did nothing at the plate, Alfonso Soriano hit his 14th home run of the season in the seventh inning to bring the Cubs to within one run. That was as close as they would get as the Diamondbacks tacked on one in seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 5-1. The Cubs did threaten however in the 8th inning, and just missed tying the game on a Darwin Barney double that hit the yellow line at the top of the left field wall. With 2nd and 3rd and nobody out, and down 3-1, Joe Mather stuck out, Luis Valbuena lined out to short, and David DeJesus grounded back to Miley to end the threat with no runs scoring. Soriano and Darwin Barney were the only Cubs with hits, each getting two in the defeat. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Finally a new team! The Cubs head to Arizona to take on the D-Backs over the weekend, and the Cubs are riding high coming off of a series win at US Cellular Field over the White Sox. Sure it’s just a series win, but considering it happened on the road it’s a big deal as the Cubs have a lot of trouble away from Wrigley. The Cubs will battle a D-Backs team that is trying to find their way after being a pleasant surprise last season. The D-Backs currently sit one game below .500 and in third place in the West, 7.5 games behind the Dodgers. The normally potent Arizona lineup is good but it usually is so much better, a down season so far from Justin Upton, an injury plagued year from Chris Young, and a missing (injured) Stephen Drew all contributed to the less than stellar numbers, up until the last series. The Cubs need to hit to stay in these games, the last two games against the Sox won’t be good enough in Arizona because I have a feeling they are about to explode, check that, continue their recent pace, as they scored 30 runs in a three game series against the Mariners. Maybe the addition of one Anthony Rizzo might help, rumor has it that June 23rd is the day Rizzo could be called up and not lose a year of eligibility, nothing confirmed obviously, but stay tuned. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.