Game 1 Rec...Aw Crap, We Lost to The Pirates

Box Score | Video

The Good: Fukudome got on-base 3 times out of the leadoff spot, Castro went 3 for 5, Pena got on-base twice with an RBI and and multi-hit games by Ramirez and Barney as well. Ramirez also just missed a 3-run game tying homer in the 7th. Dempster looked like a good pitcher for the first 4 innings and did strike out 7 on the game. Castro made an awesome dive to turn a double play to save Samardzija's ass. Some aggressive baserunning by Castro and DeJesus helped score the first run. The team pounded out 10 singles.

The Bad: No extra-base hits and just two walks by the offense, Barney got thrown out by Ryan Doumit and there was the 5th inning. After a leadoff single by Ryan Doumit, Dempster faces Garrett Jones. A hit and run is called and Jones fouls it off. Next pitch, no hit and run and a chopper to third that Aramis had a play at second base on and never takes a look and tosses it to first. He probably doesn't have a double play there, but you should always go after the lead runner of course. Then a walk to Ronny Cedeno which is a feat in of itself and maybe Dempster isn't so keen to pitch out of the zone against Cedeno if first base is occupied. Bob Brenly attempts to justify this by saying that it now sets up a possible double play with the pitcher up. It also sets up an sacrifice attempt and two runners in scoring position with the top of the order coming up. Tabata walks and then Neil Walker comes up. The count goes 3-2 and Dempster throws a splitter that Walker fouls off. Even if he keeps that it play, it may go for a single, but at worst it's a tie game. For some inexplicable reason, Dempster goes fastball next time and judging by the replay didn't miss his spot by too much and leaves one right in the lefty happy zone. Blame Soto, blame Dempster, blame Mark Riggins, but sweet jeebus was that a terrible pitch.

After two more walks in the 6th by Dempster and what looked like he was losing a little velocity, Q-Ball decides to keep him out in the 7th claiming that he thought he was fine and Dempster earned the right to tell him if he was done. He also cited that he liked how he finished up the 6th with Cedeno. *Facepalm*

Jeff Samardzija pitched an inning with the game still within 3 runs.

The It Won't Take Long to Dislike Q-Ball: Well if you want to dislike Mike Quade, just go ahead and click on the video link and the Mike Quade post-game conference. Some golden nuggets...

"He made two mistakes and they left the ballpark"

"our bullpen is fresh tomorrow"

"There were too many good things that happened."

"The score was 4-2, he said he felt fine, no, my gut didn't tell me that and if it did I would have gotten him out there. I thought he was fine".

Z vs. Maholm tomorrow...

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There is no reason to let a guy throw over 100 pitches in the first start of the season. That seems sloppy.

And, btw, Robert Redford is the man.

Detroit's Verlander threw 119 on his first start. Crazyness.

Muskat: Cubs lineup vs Pirates (vs lefty Maholm) for Sat 4/2: 2B Baker, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramirez, C Soto, 1B Pena, LF Soriano, RF Colvin, P Zambrano

Thanks ROB G. Are you intending to do this all year? What a feat!

This was one day I was glad I was sitting in covered seating. Ugh. The "Boys of Summer"???

One Good left out: In the early innings, Castro makes a remarkable stop from behind 2nd to nail the runner at 1st with the nice stretch via Pena.

Another Bad, Pena, with the bags juiced and one out, meekly dribbles the ball to the Right Side of the IF. A run scores, but ya sure don't get much for $10MM these days. Should have been a bigger inning.

Thanks ROB G. Are you intending to do this all year? What a feat!

intending? sure.

will it happen? no

Is it too early to give Maholm the Cy Young?


Yep, but Evan Meek is out of the running.

Nice to see DeWitt come through. Our bullpen looked good. Castro continues to shine offensively. Pena looks very good on defense.

as bad as last year was the bullpen made it even worse.

though quality starts is a semi-meh stat, the cubs starters actually had a lot of them last year. the pen was just that f'n bad...and the bats didn't bring enough support.

It was a textbook rally. Nice situational, two-strike right-field hitting by Byrd, Soto and Soriano. Byrd only hit a grounder, but even without the run-scoring error it would have moved the runner to third with one out.

Quade started things off by subbing walk-prone Fukudome for Baker. Fukudome walked. Would Piniella have made that move?

I don't think so. Quade seems more hands-on.

pretty sure Soriano was just slow on the fastball then any type of cognizant hitting skill there, wouldn't be too surprised on 1-2 96 mph fastball that Byrd hit was just more getting lucky as well.

I would have burned Johnson in the 7th and used Fukudome there cause Reed is guaranteed out against a righty.

But hey, it worked out thanks to an error. Hail Q-Ball's genius!

On the other side, what was Meek's pitch count up to when he was removed?

30 pitches for Meek, 20 strikes according to Yahoo.

He didn't look too bad to me, Cubs did a good job battling for the first time all game and of course helped by the error.

The pirates commentators were saying that Byrd couldn't hit a good fastball, and for the most part, they were being proved correct in the Meek PA. Maybe he needs to put that 10 lbs back on.

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