Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fishing for a road win

Friday: Marlins 5, Cubs 2

Chris Volstad has made fish food out of the Cubs this year. In two starts, he's pitched 7 and 6.2 innings, respectively, and allowed just two runs in each. Perhaps most importantly, he's walked nary a batter. Much of the success the Cubs enjoyed on the homestand was due to their renewed interest in taking pitches and bases on balls, but Friday they drew just one free pass.

And that's the question this road trip will answer: can the Cubs have success away fro
m Wrigley? They're 33-19 at home, but just 21-28 on the road. They've scored 44 runs in their last 12 road games. The Cubs have turned on the jets at home, but they really need to start holding their own on the road. This 10-game road trip should reveal a lot.

I'll tell you one thing, though: Jake Fox doesn't care where he is, as long as there are bats and balls there. People have wondered what his best position is, and I think it's clear--the batter's box. But seriously, he has played five defensive positions for Lou and hasn't been a sore spot in any of them. I truly believe his left field defense (other than his arm) is probably better than Soriano's, and he has been serviceable at 3B, 1B, catcher and right field as well. It's good to see him continue to get at-bats.

But the Cubs lost because Marmol's scoreless streak came to an end. His control escaped him again, as he issued two walks and hit a batter, resulting in three runs to all but put the game away in the 8th. I suppose we should let him slide this time, given that this is really his first slip-up since July 11.

Besides, it was a great month of July for the Cubs. They went 18-9 in the month, and climbed from fourth place and 4 1/2 games out, to second place and just 1/2 game out. The Cardinals got yet another 4-for-4 day from Matt Holliday and upended the Astros to take over first place. But the Astros (obviously) lost and so did the Brewers, despite the fact that they had a 7-1 lead in the 2nd inning. Both Milwaukee and Houston are doing their darndest to make themselves irrelevant as we head into the final two months of the season.


The Trib confirms that Tom Gorzelanny will start Tuesday for the Cubs. My guess is Jeff Stevens gets a ticket back to Iowa when Gorzelanny is called up. Also, Soto will start his rehab Monday and should be back with the team Friday in Colorado.

Remember him?

Steve Bartman just can't escape his place in Cubs lore. ESPN is planning an hour-long documentary on the famous fan as part of its "30 for 30" series.

***UPDATE***The Cubs aren't big fans of said documentary.

(hat tip: Sherry Christol)

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised Steve Bartman hasn't legally changed his name. This might put him over the edge.