July 13, 2013 by Ryan S
Angels at Cubs, Wed. 7/10/13
The Cubs (40-49) played what was in my opinion, their worst game of the season thus far. In short, there were very few (if any) bright spots. Let’s start at the top. Jeff Samardzija pitched a terrible game, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. This comes on the heels of a start in which he gave up five earned runs on nine hits and five walks over six innings.
What’s gotten into Shark? I don’t have an answer for that. Thankfully, that was his last start before the break, and he’ll have some time to rest and maybe figure it out. As for the rest of the game? The bullpen stunk; Henry Rodriguez allowed two earned runs and retired no one, and Brooks Raley allowed two earned on six base runners in 4.1 innings. So the mop up relief was decent in a terrible game.
The hitting was not very good, but it was fun to see Cody Ransom hit a homer in the ninth, so there’s that. Good riddance to the Angels (44-46), who hit five home runs in the game, three coming from Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols.
Cardinals at Cubs, Thu. 7/11/13
The Cubs (41-49) played much, much better the next day against the Cardinals (55-35) at home. Edwin Jackson twirled a gem, allowing just three hits and no runs over seven innings. This is the kind of pitching that I have been hoping for since he signed his four-year deal this offseason.
He is no 6-10 with a 5.11 ERA on the season, but has posted a 1.93 ERA in his past three starts, and looks great so far in July. Kevin Gregg notched his 16th save, and the hitting was taken care of by Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. They combined for a 5-7 with two runs and three RBI. It was great to see these guys leading the offense, and here’s to hoping it continues.
Cardinals at Cubs, Fri. 7/12/13
The Cubs (41-50) fell to the Cardinals (56-35) 3-2, but it never felt close after Carlos Villanueva (2-5, 3.59 ERA) allowed a pair of runs in the first inning. He shaped up from there, allowing just two base runners in the five innings following, and leaving after six innings. Matt Guerrier, who has been, to this point, great for the Cubs, allowed a run in the seventh that would eventually be the difference.
Like I said, the game felt like it was out of reach from the start. They could not hit off Joe Kelly, and once it got to the bullpen, well the Cardinals have a good one of those. Castro made it interesting with a homer in the eighth, but that was followed up with strike outs by Rizzo, and Nate Schierholtz, and a ground out by Alfonso Soriano. That would be the end offensively for the Cubs.
Castro, who went 2-3, has now raised his average to .241. On the up and up. It also looks like Soriano has finally cooled off, who is just one for his last 10, with no extra base hits. It was fun while it lasted, though.
The Cubs take on the Cardinals 6:15 PM CT today, and 7:05 PM CT tomorrow to head into the break. It will be Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67 ERA) tonight, and Travis Wood (6-6, 2.69 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.30 ERA) Sunday.