Saturday, 8 July:
In a game that was as easy to predict as the rising sun, the Cubs easily defeated an inferior Pittsburgh Pirate team in spite of the same awful play that has plagued them all season.
That will happen when you get some decent pitching and an all world performance from Kris Bryant. He went 4 for 5 with two home runs, a triple, a single and 4 RBI’s. A shaky but effective 4 inning start from Eddie Butler got them started.
Three innings of one run relief finished the job, and the team returned to their righteous place, .500, for the 19th time this season. They are 43-43.
However, the same problems that have irked them all season persisted; 3 more errors including Addison Russell’s 8th throwing error -he has made more bad throws than that but some were called infield hits- and Willson Contreras’ 4th passed ball.
It was a fastball on the inside corner that just bounced off his mitt. He is showing some of the ‘rock hands’ that Welington Castillo had, and that isn’t good. His defense is getting worse, not better.
Neither he, nor Kyle Schwarber, hit enough to make up for their defensive liabilities. Ian Happ was charged with an error that should have been Schwarber’s, but the scorer missed the play. It was Happ’s ball all the way.
Once again, it’s hard to compliment the team. They won because Bryant is one of the best players in baseball and had a great game, the Pirates (40-47) basically suck and after getting their clocks cleaned by Milwaukee on Thursday they were due to play better.
Better. Not good, mind you. Just a little better.
The 41,239 fans enjoyed it and got their money’s worth. It was a fun summer day at Wrigley.
But this is not any type of pennant run; the team has still not found itself after 86 games, unless the win one/lose one performance so far is it. They still have a shot at a late summer run when the second division teams start dropping back.
They have 2 more games until the All Star break. Last year they had SEVEN players there.
This year one, and that is a guy they got for Jorge Soler who is currently hitting .169 with 2 homers for Kansas City. They flat out stole Wade Davis, and he deserves to be the team’s sole representative.
What a difference a year can make…
Jake Arrieta takes on Ivan Nova, 6:15 start, regional FOX telecast, 670 The Score