A Preview of Things to Come?

Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 6 Giants 2

wflag.jpg The Cubs ended their 6-game losing streak….Rich Hill was outstanding for his second consecutive start, Matt Murton hit his 10th home run of the season and Ryan Theriot hit his first career home run to power the Cubs past the Giants on Friday afternoon at Wrigley. Rich Hill was very impressive and retired 7 of the first 8 hitters he faced. Hill became very aggressive after the Cubs gave him a lead, he quit “nibbling” at the corners or attempting to throw the “perfect pitch”, he went after the Giants hitters and struck out 6 on the day while walking just 1.

The Cubs offense was effective against a very good left-hander and scored 6 runs on 8 hits, left just 2 on base. The Riot had a huge day again after recording a 5-hit game against the Pirates on Wednesday. Theriot was 2 for 4 on the day with a RBI and 2 runs scored, his first hit on the afternoon was a double and his defensive play in the 1st inning set the tone for the entire afternoon.

Although Hill did give up more hits than he did against the Cardinals arguably Friday afternoon’s performance was the best of his young career. Hill was very aggressive and was ahead in the count all afternoon. Hill threw mostly first pitch strikes and was in full command all afternoon. Hill threw 106 pitches, 75 for strikes and 2 of the 5 hits he allowed was to former Cub Moises Alou. Hill pitched around a lead-off double by Alou in the 2nd and induced 11 fly outs on the afternoon. Hill looked very confident on the mound, picked up his 4th victory of the season and the Cubs defense, especially Ronny Cedeno, had a solid afternoon.

The Cubs did not make those mental mistakes that plagued them on the recent road trip. The played their first complete game in a very long time.

Derrek Lee is back and he started the scoring in the 2nd inning. Lee doubled to left; the ball was lost and fell in front of Todd Linden. Barrett flied out to right to advance Lee to 3rd and Jacque Jones doubled him home on a hanging breaking ball by Noah Lowry. Matt Murton walked and Ronny Cedeno singled to center to score Jones. Ryan Theriot doubled to lead-off the 3rd and scored on a single by Aramis Ramirez. The Cubs added 2 more in the 4th after Jones singled, Matt Murton hit his 10th home run of the year into the basket in right center….into the wind. Murton has played better of late and his patience at the plate is refreshing. Ryan Theriot completed the scoring on the afternoon in the 5th with his first career home run.

Theriot has taken full advantage of every opportunity when given a chance to play. He hustles on every play and has played solid defensive at 2nd base. Since being called up on August 3rd he is hitting .405 (17-42) with a .444 OBP (10 runs, 6 RBI’s, 2 walks and 6 stolen bases), yes he has made mistakes but at least he is trying to perform and improve.

Scott Eyre pitched the 9th and gave up the 2nd run on the day for the Giants. Hill was very impressive and it would have been nice to see the Cubs record a complete game. Hill showed fatigue in the 8th and gave up his only run on the day off of back-to-back doubles. It was the right call to go to the pen….but it still would have been great to see Hill throw all 9 innings for the win.

Sean Marshall is scheduled to make his first start on Saturday since July 22nd in Washington. Saturday could be another preview of things to come with Marshall following Hill in the rotation. Marshall has thrown better than his stats indicate and Hill has been tremendous in his 5th call-up from the minors….wouldn’t it be nice to finally see success out of the Cubs “Homegrown” Talent?

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver