The Cubs entered Sunday’s game with the Diamondbacks with a few 2012 “lasts” to put behind them. The game marked the last road contest for the 2012 season, with the Cubs wrapping up the season back home at Wrigley starting Monday. The ballgame in Arizona also marked the last match up with an NL West club for the year. The Cubs were on the brink of the dubious achievement of going without a road win against an entire division. The Sunday afternoon affair also represented the last game for the month of September. Yes, the Cubs will be playing October baseball this year.
Unfortunately it is not of the playoff series variety.
What Went Right: The Cubs inconsistent offense woke up midway through the game to post several runs and pull away for the victory. Other than a first inning RBI double by Anthony Rizzo in the top of the first, the Cubs went silent in the runs column until the sixth inning.
In the mean time, rookie starting pitcher Chris Rusin overcame a two run frame by the host Diamondbacks. He settled down to reach the minimum five innings and with the help of the Cubs offensive awakening, was able to collect his second win after scattering three hits and two walks.
A four run sixth inning gave the Cubs the cushion they needed on their way to the win, highlighted by a two run single by Bryan LaHair, a nice end of the season highlight for a player who has struggled after a hot start that earned him a feel good story All Star bid.
Sept. 30, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Chris Rusin (18) in the first inning against Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE
What Went Wrong: Despite the Cubs just trying to finish out a disappointing season even with the low expectations to start 2012, there really was not much that went wrong. However, a continuing concern are mental errors, a bad habit that Cubs players seem to have a hard time shaking despite the changes made in the front office and at manager. These changes were suppose to bring a new way of thinking, getting back to the basics and playing sound ball. It appears that is something that will require some time to clean out from the prior regime.
What Was Interesting: Interesting may be a nice way to put it, as I am sure by now all Cubs fans are just as sick as I am about hearing the Cubs trying to avoid 100 losses on the season. Regardless, it is a dubious feat that would best be avoided for morale purposes, and at least for one more day, the Cubs were able to avoid that low light.