Sunday, July 24, 2011

7/24/11 Houston Astros 4, Chicago Cubs 5

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Game 3 of 3


OK, so once again…you already know the story…Matt Garza puts in a better-than-decent day of work (7 innings here, 9 K, 2ER) and leaves the game with the W. However, the Cubs’ inconsistent bullpen finds a way to give up the game to a tie and render Garza’s outing a no-decision in less than an inning at the hands of Jeff Samardzija, thereby magically converting a 3-2 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

The Cubs come back in the 8th for a Broken-Bat Single RBI by Alfonso Soriano, scoring Marlon Byrd, to tie the game and force extra innings. You can’t say the offense didn’t support Garza efficiently, not in this outing at least.

A common occurrence in Cubs victories over the past few weeks has been the advent of timely hitting…it’s a shame that the occurrence isn’t “more than common” but I’ve seen it more this season than I had in 2010 and yes, from where I sit, that does illicit some sort of a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t muzzle flash.

The Cubs get that timely production with a leadoff triple by Marlon Byrd. Tony Campana is intentionally walked (HEY TONY, YOU SHOULD MARK THIS DOWN ON YOUR RESUME!!), then Darwin Barney is intentionally walked and Astros RHP David Carpenter pitches to Mr. Cubs Surprise himself, Jeff Baker.

Baker works the count full, and then pops off what you’d hope Baker can do more often, but sadly doesn’t…a ripping line drive to left field that scores Byrd in a dramatic walk-off win.

You want it to happen more often…I know I do. But then again, I’ll take a more consistent bullpen and less timely hitting in many situations.

Once again, Matt Garza…what a stud…and no geometric progression in the ‘industry standard’ W-L/ERA statistical database that says “you rock, buddy…we’re glad you’re a CUB.”


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