The first six games of the season were anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs. On the field, the Cubs played decent ball at times but the first six games were filled with inconsistency and miscues.
The Cubs offense struggled for the most part, especially with runners on base, with the exception of Starlin Castro. Castro picked up where he left off in the spring and posted a .400/.444/.640/1.084 slash line with two doubles and two triples (10-for-25 with six runs scored). Castro made several highlight reel plays on the field as well as ones that proved he is a 21-year old learning to play the game at the big league level.
Matt Garza had a wild debut and Ryan Dempster lost his first two starts of the season. Unfortunately, the first week of the 2011 season will be remembered for the Cubs placing Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the DL … on the same day.
As Mike Quade pointed out, the Cubs were in every game and could easily be 5-1 instead of 3-3. Here are a few random notes and observations from the first six games … Alfonso Soriano had a solid week at the plate (.273/.333/.682/1.015, 6-for-22). Soriano hit three home runs (all three led off an inning) and walked twice with four strikeouts. Soriano hit the ball to right field, which is a good sign. In the field was another story. “The Misadventures of Alfonso Soriano in Left Field” continued and added a couple of ugly chapters.
Randy Wells was the only starter to post a win and looked sharp. Hopefully Wells can pickup where he left off in a month … or so.
Carlos Pena was as advertised … excellent glove and patient at the plate. The clubhouse philosopher walked (3) as many times as he struck out (3) and just missed a grand slam last Sunday. Pena is also hovering at the Mendoza Line with a .200/.357/.300/.657 first four games in a Cubs’ uniform.
The Cubs scored 26 runs in the first six games … they also allowed 26 runs.
All six games were decided by three runs or less and they are 1-1 in one-run games.
The most runs the Cubs scored in a single game was six … the most runs they allowed in a single game was six.
The Cubs were charged with six errors, tied for second most in the National League. Q’s squad also turned six double plays, tied for fourth most in the National League.
Cubs pitching struck out a league leading 55 batters.
Matt Garza struck out a career high 12 batters in his Cubs debut … Garza also allowed a career high 12 hits. Garza was in line for the win but Carlos Marmol could not find the strike zone.
Tyler Colvin looked good at first base. Colvin hit a homer and notched a single in 15 trips to the plate.
The Cubs are the only team in the majors without a stolen base. Darwin Barney made the Cubs only attempt on Opening Day and was thrown out at second base.
Starlin Castro did not swing and miss a ball until the third inning of Wednesday’s game.
The backend of the pen appears it will be solid despite Marmol’s blown save. Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall did their jobs for the most part. Unless the offense and defense improves, all three figure to rack up high stress innings all season.
Geovany Soto was very good behind the plate.
Jeff Samardzija still cannot throw strikes … but at least he realizes it and worked on his mechanics following Tuesday’s outing.
James Russell is very good against left-handed hitters … right-handers not so much.
Aramis Ramirez was very good at the plate over the first six games (.333/.440/.524/.964 with a double, a home run, four walks and no strikeouts). On the bases and in the field, that’s another story.
Andrew Cashner pitched the way the Cubs hoped he would … and hopes he does again in the very near future. Cashner was excellent in his first big league start.
Ryan Dempster 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP to start the season, really?
.357/.526/.357/.833 slash line for Kosuke Fukudome in his first five games of the season.
The Cubs begin a difficult nine-game road trip (three in Milwaukee, three in Houston and three in Colorado) Friday night. The Cubs were 40-41 on the road last season. How will Q’s squad perform away from Wrigley Field this year?
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