Amid the home opener festivities and the Carlos Marmol demotion news, there was a series to be played at the start of the week. The Cubs hosted their Interstate 94 division rival for a three game set that was reduced to just a pair of games thanks to some cold and rainy weather in Chicago on Wednesday. The individual game recaps are here: Monday and Tuesday.
Apparently the Cubs offense was glad to be back home. Despite being down 5-0 and 7-2 at two points during Monday’s game, the Cubs offense did not give up and was a wind denied game winning grand slam away from completing a crazy comeback win. The Cubs did pound out nine hits, highlighted by Welington Castillo’s first homer of the season. The North Siders matched their hit total the next day, but this time started their rally an inning earlier and finished the job in time to give Marmol the win and Kyuji Fujikawa his second save. The Cubs scored six runs without the benefit of a home run, with Anthony Rizzo collecting two RBI.
Travis Wood continues to carry over his solid Spring into the regular season. Despite allowing two earned runs and not getting the decision, Wood’s ERA after two games is at 1.46. Yes it is a small sample size, but he has exceeded expectations from the third spot in the rotation considering he was battling for the final slot prior to the injuries to Matt Garza and Scott Baker. Hector Rondon also carried over his fantastic Cactus League play and is quickly becoming the steal of the Rule 5 draft. Manage Dale Sveum also got to test drive his new back of the rotation pecking order, with Marmol gritting out a scoreless eighth inning on Tuesday before making way to Fujikawa to nail down the save.
Apr 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view during batting practice prior to a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Other than the weather on Wednesday? The poor pitching by Edwin Jackson to spot the Brewers a 5-0 lead through two innings on Monday and the three errors by the Cubs defense Tuesday night. The North Siders are going to get beat more times than not this season against teams with better talent. But the Cubs need to at least go down with their pitchers hitting their spots and the fielders playing smart and solid defense.