Enhanced Box Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 4 – April 3, 2011

It’s very hard not to be reactionary after a game like that. I get that these games will happen. I get that, after giving up 16 hits (even if they were all singles), the Cubs probably should have lost this one. I get that it’s only three games. I get that it was the first series of the year. But you just can’t, can’t, can’t lose series to the Pirates. Some *year* this has to stop.

Starlin Castro is absolutely becoming a force at the plate, but he still makes some youthful mistakes. Matt Garza had one of the strangest performances you’ll see. Carlos Marmol did what Carlos Marmol will sometimes do. Tyler Colvin and Geovany Soto combined for a sweet (face-punching) double play. And when will you see another two-RBI infield single to win a game? Nevertheless, none of those feats get today’s enhancement…

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

21 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 4 – April 3, 2011”

  1. Dan0mite

    I just don’t see how you have the game in your hands and you take a half hearted swing at the first pitch you see.

  2. Bric

    The saddest thing is do you all remember how many times we were close to going .500 or a game over .500 last year and never did it? Well’ here’s #1 for year number 2. Ricketts and Hendry must be so proud.

  3. philoe beddoe

    now I know Marmol is wild..but I think with 2nd and 3rd with one out you walk the lefty to load the bases…sets up DP(which they got after the fact), and Marmol tougher on righties..

  4. PFK

    I totally agree about Byrd. Good guy, he hustles but he is not an RBI guy and is NOT a third place hitter. But what nobody is noticing is that Soto has stranded 16 base runners in 3 games. Another 5 today, 6 yesterday and 5 on Opening Day. Why does he keep getting a free pass from the media?

    1. Michigan Goat

      Right with Soto hasn’t show the ability to be a 3, 4, 5 hitter this year

    2. awesome

      would you rather have Hill catching?

  5. Michigan Goat

    An exciting game to be sure, but this just freaking frustrating. Castro is too good a hitter to be leading off, but our real problem is we lack solid, reliable 3, 4 ,5 hitters. If we move Castro to 3 then who can we count on to set the table? I think 2011 will be like this, solid production from Castro but no one to support that production.

    I’m also unsure what to think of Garza 12 K’s great, 12 hits in 7 IP not great but he was in place for the W and that’s what really counts.

    Marmol will be fine, but I can’t wait to see the panic that’s bound to be spewed.

    And watching the play at home was awesome in slow motion, he got knocked the f— out, I’m amazed he got up after that play he was clocked.

  6. Lokanna

    What a heart breaker. To survive that game only to blow the save in the 9th is aggravating to say the least. Most of these comments are spot on, Soto getting a free pass, Garza’s 12 punch outs but giving up the hits, etc…

    My concern is that while it’s only 3 games in, I don’t see a lot of life out of Rami. Yes, I know he had a good day at the plate, but his defense was lacking and he just looks “flat”. I guess you can say that about a majority of the veterans (notable exception being Wood, that guy was pumped!). The kids looked like they wanted it, the Vets looked like they were going through the motions. I can forgive losing… I can forgive blown saves… I can forgive “maybe next year” but I simply won’t forgive apathy and lack of hustle.

    That was my biggest concern about Lou last year and if Quade doesn’t get these guys to get passionate again, I say move ‘em all out for prospects, and start over.

    1. PFK

      I’ve always thought Ramirez looks flat. He looks so dispassionate, rarely hustles – he should have scored on Pena’s double but he for sure should have scored on the wild pitch, if he was on his toes. If he is on his toes and is a good 6-8 steps off third when that wild pitch came he should have easily made it home. You can’t wait to see how far it goes to decide, you have to be alert and have a hustle mentality. And I think his attitude rubs off on others. Soriano is much the same – just no drive, alertness or passion.

  7. otto cub

    That is the kind of game that breaks your heart, for sure. For me, the most important moments of the game were in the 4th inning. First of all… Pena’s double was only inches away from a grand slam! But more importantly, how can Ramirez not score from first on a double off the wall that rolls halfway back to the infield before being picked up? And then, to have Soto and Soriano both pop up with a runner on third? Ugh. The Cubs could have scored 4 (or more) in that inning, even without the grand slam. And SHOULD HAVE scored 3.

    1. Bric

      It’s true the one thing the Cubs lacked last year was any kind of killer mentality. They were always too happy to settle for tying it up or going up by one when they had a chance at a big inning. Same thing today when Colvin jumps on the first pitch after Sori’s homer and Byrd does the same thing. I truly believe it’s Rudy’s plate approach philosophy but whatever, it’s the guys swinging the bat that have to produce.
      On the upside the Cubs have 33 strikeouts in 3 games. They have a real chance to take back the strike out title which they had for 9 years straight before losing it 2 years ago. That’s a sign of a power staff.

  8. awesome

    look at their BA’s, outside of Castro, who is hitting? i’m not worried about Soto. as a team most of us agree they suck.

  9. Hogan

    No heat for Pena watching his double?

    1. wax_eagle

      2 reasons to me. 1 Looked like a homer off the bat, and it nearly was. 2 Rami stopped at third and so he advanced as far as he could have gone. I was a bit surprised, but he thought it was his first Cubs homer and a GS I would have done the same thing.

      1. Ol'CharlieBrown

        Agreed. Man I thought that bad boy was gone…