Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cardiac Cubs...Original? No, True? Yes

The 6-5 win over the Indians today was as thrilling as the past two wins, but the Cubs got a good amount of bounces go their way again. On Thursday it was Alfonso Soriano finding the Bermuda Triangle in short right center to win the game. Yesterday it was a combination of a Jhonny Peralta throwing error that opened the door for the 4-run eighth and Theriot's game winning single being mishandled by Ryan Garko.

Today, Kelly Shoppach gifted the Cubs the pair of runs in the 13th, or at least put them in a great position. Cleveland had the Cubs dead in the water when Koyie Hill struck out and they had Dome gunned down at second. Shoppach's throw ended up in center and the Cubs had the tying run at third instead of being one out away from losing. To be fair, Luis Valbuena kind of botched the catch (as he did fielding a throw from the outfield on a Dome double earlier), but it was still a bad toss from behind the plate. To compound this, Shoppach attempted a lazy backhand on the wild pitch that would end the game. It looked like he could have gotten his body in front of it because it was clear that ball was not coming back into the zone.

My point is that it is great these breaks are finally happening for the Cubs. When line drives are being hit right to opposing fielders and the ball is taking weird hops over D-Lee's glove it is easy to start wondering if anything will go the Cubs way. It is nice to recognize when they are, let's hope it keeps going that way.

I always look for problems and here are a couple of problems I've noticed in spite of this surpring three game win streak. First, Milton is not driving in runs. In the last ten days, despite raising his average 33 points, he has only driven two runs. Both came in the 7-4 loss to the Twins. The singles he does get haven't even been in the middle of rallies as he has only scored two runs in that span as well. It is great he is hitting better, but he wasn't signed to be a singles hitter.

Also, the walks being given out by the bullpen need to stop. Heilman walked 4 in his two innings, and though he didn't give up a run and negated them with 3 strikeouts, pitching like that will hurt you much more often than amount to nothing. Carlos Marmol's control problems have been well documented, but to me it is to the point where he needs to be sent down. I know he is an established major league reliever and doint that seems unreasonable, but he is such an important cog in the pen that the Cubs absolutely need him right. As long as Angel Guzman is throwing like he is they can get away with Marmol's absence for a brief period.

Photo courtesy

No comments:

Post a Comment