Cubs 4, Pirates 5 (4/11/14)

In Game Threads by myles

Did the Cubs Win?

OSS: James Russell marches onwards towards his ignominious release.

Three Up

1. Starlin Castro continues his hot start to the season with a 3 single day. He scored a run and hand an RBI.

2. Travis Wood deserved the win here, but we’ll get to that later. He allowed 1 run (that Schlitter inherited), walked 3, allowed 4 hits, and fanned 9. At one point, I think he struck out 5 consecutive batters. That isn’t something you’d expect to see, but I’ll take it!

3. Emilio Bonifacio didn’t get a hit yesterday, but still impacted the game. He scored the first run of the evening by stealing second, inducing an awful throw from the catcher, and coming around to score. He’s quite fast, and even though he was caught stealing (at 3rd after stealing 2nd) in the first, it was still nice to see.

Three Down

1. Brian Schlitter was clearly the 25th man coming into the season, and he’s acquitted himself quite nicely until yesterday. He allowed a 2-run jack to Travis Snider, and then a single to Marte, a walk to McCutchen, before handing the ball off to…

2. James Russell, who we should probably check if he signed a secret contract with Pittsburgh. He threw a batting practice pitch that Alvarez deposited into centerfield for the game-winning home run.

3. Ryan Kalish got the start in left and did nothing with it, striking out 3 times and flying out to center.


Man, Mike Olt hasn’t looked very good this year. He has 3 hits, and 2 of them are home runs. Unfortunately, both jacks were heavily wind-assisted, pop flies he was beat on that just happened to drift into the front of left and right field. In the meantime, he’s put up a .136/.136/.409 line, good for a wRC+ of 37. He hasn’t walked yet, and struck out 27.3% of the time. I’m all for giving Olt a long leash to find out if he’s got anything left, but he sure isn’t going to shake out of the platoon he’s in right now with numbers like those.

Would we be 6-3/5-4 with Shin-Soo Choo on our team? All he’s done this year is go .355/.475/.484, walking as many times as he’s struck out. Meanwhile, RF has been the black hole we all assumed it would be coming into the season, with Ruggiano and Schierholtz combining for roughly a .100/.150/.150 line. Put Lake in RF (where his arm is a weapon), Choo in LF, Boni in CF, and that’s a pretty OK outfield. Even Choo’s LF split last year (.612 OPS, but .347 OBP) is still better than whatever Nate or Justin is putting up there right now.

Quick Hits

Castro had 3 hits yesterday, and the rest of the Cubs combined for the same total…Cubs went 2-for-9 with RISP…Cubs (5) trail only Cincinnati (4) in fewest errors in the NL…Cubs now tied for worst in NL in LD% (22)…Pedro Alvarez hits a HR in 12.2% of his ABs…Cubs struck out 15 times yesterday.

Next Game

Cubs @ Cardinals (8:15 pm)
Samardzija v. Kelly
Stubhub: $37.20 (Michael Wacha 2013 NLCS MVP Bobblehead Giveaway)


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