Series Review 4/4/11-4/6/11: Arizona Diamondbacks


After a disappointing start to the season that saw the Chicago Cubs drop two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs were determined to bounce back against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After taking five of six games against the D’backs last season, the Cubs were hoping to continue their good fortunes against the new-look Diamondbacks.

Game 1 — All’s Wells that Ends Well as Cubs Beat D’Backs 4-1

  • Randy Wells’ strong effort on the mound during Spring Training carried over to his first start of the season as he pitches the Cubs to victory. Alfonso Soriano was the highlight on offense as he had a home run and 2 RBI’s.

Game 2–“Cash Money” Excels in his first ML start as Cubs Win 6-5

  • There was a lot of national attention on this game as Andrew Cashner made his first career major league start. Cashner was lifted in the sixth inning because of shoulder tightness and was on pace to win the game, But was let down by Jeff Samardzija and Marcus Mateo. James Russell and Marlon Byrd, however, came through as they carried the Cubs to victory.

Game 3–Dempster Shaky Again as Cubs Lose 6-4

Based off of on the field production, this was a good series for the Chicago Cubs. Their starting pitchers and relievers kept them in the game except for a few hiccups here and there, and the offense came through with the timely hit to give the Cubs the lead. As much as winning streaks are fun to have, it is much more important to win consecutive series in a row, instead of consecutive games. The Cubs won the series against the Diamondbacks, and that is the important thing.

What To Take From The Series?

  • The Cubs have now caught up with the rest of the teams in their division as far as injuries are concerned. Carlos Pena missed the last two games against the Diamondbacks due to a sprained thumb. But more importantly, the Cubs will be without Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner for the next month. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the bottom half of the Cubs’ rotation responds. Casey Coleman and James Russell figure to be moving into the rotation for the time being, and both were relatively successful in Spring Training.
  • We all have taken our shots at the Cubs’ offense, but so far the Cubs’ offense has been one of the surprises of the season. Sure the Cubs are not blowing teams out, but their offense is providing the timely hit that give the Cubs’ the lead in games. Hot starts from Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, and Alfonso Soriano has the Cubs’ offense trending up instead of down.

Who’s Hot?

  • Alfonso Soriano–Starlin Castro can not be the only player that continues to get nominated for the “who’s hot” recognition. After a slow start the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Soriano rebounded nicely as he hit .500 with a home run, two runs batted in, and two walks against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Soriano has hit 3 home runs in the first week of games, which is a positive sign for a player who usually gets off to a cold start.

Who’s Not?

  • Ryan Dempster– After struggling with the his command against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ryan Dempster did not fare any better against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Granted Dempster did not walk anyone in his second start of the season, but he gave up four earned runs on 10 hits. Couple that with his 6 run performance on Opening Day, and it has not been the best of starts to the season for Dempster.

Who’s Next?

  • The Cubs go on the road for the first time this season as the Brewers play host to their National League Central rival starting on Friday.