On Saturday afternoon the Cubs continued their attempt to catch the Houston Astros and avoid finishing last in the NL Central. Despite facing a lefty in J.A. Happ, manager Dale Sveum did not jam the line up with all right handed batters, keeping David DeJesus at the top and Luis Valbuena at the bottom. The Cubs kept good on their stance of keeping Anthony Rizzo in the three hole regardless of who they face.
What Went Right: The highlights will feature his first home run as a Cub that provided the game tying and game winning runs, but the much hyped prospect has played solid defense at first base as well. The lefty made a solid throw to home plate in the top of the third to prevent a run from scoring. In a one run victory that play was just as important as the go ahead two run homer he would hit later. Credit Geovany Soto with a nice swipe tag and hanging onto the ball.
What also may go overlooked is the fact that Matt Garza was able to complete two underhanded throws to first to record outs on come backers to the mound. Garza has been plagued with a mental issue of throwing to first, and this is a good sign of overcoming that, even if the plays did not require him to make a throw overhand.
Props must also go to the Cubs pen, who as a unit combined to shut down the Astros the rest of the way over 3 2/3 innings. Carlos Marmol capped off the efforts without drama for the save, despite issuing a walk.
What Went Wrong: Not much to complain about considering the Cubs win and the low expectations fans should have as the 2012 season goes along. Garza’s short outing was due to his pitch count tipping past 100 in only 5 1/3 innings of work.
What Was Interesting: The game time was a rare 3:05 pm start for a WGN telecast, with that time slot usually associated with a FOX national game on a Saturday afternoon. Not that I am complaining, as I will take Len and Bob over hearing Tim McCarver’s voice any day.
Rizzo, who already experienced a shaving cream pie during the post game interview the other day, was spared the honor today, with jokester Garza opting to cut Rizzo’s face time short instead, stating that Rizzo had to go into the clubhouse cause it was hot outside.