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Wow! A walk-off win (literally) and a series win over the NL West-leading Dodgers. Good day after a long rain delay. It was worth the wait.

The Cubs went down 3-0 early, and squandered 109 scoring opportunities until the 9th (save for a two-run single by Starlin Castro), when Tony Campana drove in the tying run, which was all kinds of awesome. Not awesome? Third base coach Pat Listach sent David DeJesus (who was running from first) on the shallow double, who was thrown out by a mile despite a really nice slide. There would have been one out, and the winning run on third with Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair coming up. I understand trying to win the game when you have the chance, but it was a terrible, terrible send, and I was shouting it as DeJesus rounded third.

But why am I talking about that? That Cubs won it in the bottom of the 11th thanks to a Darwin Barney hustle double, a Welington Castillo intentional walk, a Jeff Samardzija hit by pitch (as in, he received it), and a David DeJesus walk.

Travis Wood’s start was an interesting one. He wasn’t particularly sharp early, and was unnecessarily wild in the first few innings. But if Starlin Castro doesn’t unnecessarily try to do a leaping throw, or Bryan LaHair can dig an easy bouncer out, Wood probably gives up only a couple runs. At the end of his appearance, he’d set down 11 Dodgers in a row. All in all, it was a “quality start,” and I think that’s a fair designation. Hey, he even had a couple hits.

(I missed a half inning at one point while attending to our daughter, and, upon returning to the game, I asked The Wife if I’d missed anything. She wasn’t really watching the game, so I can’t blame her for responding: “Well, I’m not sure. All I really noticed was that Darwin Barney is kind of hot.” Thanks for the help, dear. Barney did have a nice day defensively. Maybe that’s what she meant.)

If this were a loss, that LOB number and RISP number would be enhanced. As it is…

  • JustSwain

    I guess minus Marmol our Bullpen isn’t all crap. Dolis should get the shout out for taking his ERA below 3, and Russell just kept being Russell.

    • hansman1982

      Agree, it has been surprisingly decent this year… definitely much better than anticipated on April 1.

  • Jed

    Campana got caught again! It’s the apocalypse!

    • JoeSchmoe

      And then he delivered a clutch hit!

  • goat nuts

    how did wood look pitching? his line scores look decent.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      OK, but not overwhelmingly good. Started to work in the zone in the 4th, and had success. Reminded me a little bit of Maholm.

      • rcleven

        Located his fast ball really well. Could not locate his curve. Got to give him credit for picking himself up after a messy start.

      • goat nuts

        any chance that they keep him up and send down volstad? or, maybe they put volstad in the bullpen?

        • Spencer

          one can only hope.

    • Spencer

      I think decent is the operative word. Still, I don’t really care how he looked; he only gave up three runs.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Man, our bullpen was incredible, and while Wood struggled some, I was really impressed with his ability to pull it back together and finish strong. Plus, 2 hits from the pitcher when we only had one on the season coming in was pretty cool.

    For all the Barney naysayers, this is why you don’t replace him, hustle. If you find a guy who can hit .290 or better or give us 15+ HRs, sure
    , replace him. But to gain .20 point on a BA, or a few HRs, its not worth it. If not for his hustle double, Castillo doesn’t get the intentional, Shark doesnt get hit and we are probably headed to the 12th inning. Plus his defense was superb today.

    Also, I have extra innings, and was listening to the Dodgers broadcast. Those guys are idiots.

    Good win Cubs.

    • Brady

      Yea those guys are really bad. I live in Hawaii and they broadcast Dodgers games on local tv (we get cali television programing about half the time), and yesterday they said “Volstad is having a great day, aside from giving up 5 ER…” I facepalmed pretty hard after that.

    • drew

      Kudos to Barney, but if Cardenas hits the way he’s capable of, he should start at 2nd; Barney’s “hustle” be damned.

      Great win today!

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      I appreciate Barney’s hustle and defense but its not going to take a .290 hitter wuth 15 HRs to move him. If the Cubs find someone who plays adequeate defense and can get on base at a .360 clip, he’ll probably be replaced. Currently he sports a .288 OBP. Even with his good defense he has to improve offensively pretty quickly or I can see him being replaced at the very lastest in 2013.

  • JustSwain

    I thought your comments were a bit hard on Wood Brett. He only gave up 3 hits, and that shot by Rivera was a solid piece of hitting on a change-up that caught a bit too much plate. I thought he pitched well and kept us in it, and even managed to eliminate the wildness once he started to trust his pitches. He didn’t look sharp right out of the gates, but his last three innings were pretty sharp. (Edit) rereading your comments you were probably fair. I was reading too much into the wasn’t incredibly sharp part. He really impressed me much more today than at any point in spring training so I thought he deserved a pat on the back for his start.

    • TWC

      Did you just say “hard on wood”?

      • Brady

        *budum tish*

        • Peyton67

          Don’t forget to try the veal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I thought I was pretty complimentary.

      • JustSwain

        Yeah I was just overly hyped about him not sucking. I think I was editing about the time you were responding.

  • ISU Birds

    I think Wood deserves a second start and Volstad should be sent to the pen for awhile. I mean why not right……

    • rcleven

      If Wood takes Volstad’s spot in the rotation and Volsted goes to the pen who goes? Still will need the extra back up infielder.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        And it’s not happening anyway. Virtual lock Wood gets sent down today or tomorrow. But he’ll be back mid-season…

        • hansman1982

          I think after this outing when Wood is pulled into Jed’s office and demoted they will inform him that he is now the 6th, rather than the 7th starter.

        • cubs1967

          i agree with you but why? volstand sucks…….he was just a throw-in to move Z; t wood cost us Marshall…needs to prove himself and trade isn’t as horribly bad as is…….makes no sense to give Volstad such a long leash.

  • TWC

    Whew! Back home from a crazy, hot, sunny day watching the San Jose Giants beat the Inland Empire 66ers Justin time to catch innings 8 through the end. Fun day of baseball!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Did you do some nice teaching?

      • TWC

        It was … odd. For those of you who don’t know, I was at the game with two British families that have never seen baseball before. I had to be really, really conscious of the tone of my voice, as I shifted from explaining aspects of the game to my son, on my left, and the Brits, on my right. I didn’t want to appear pedantic to the Brits, or come across as condescending, but their questions were like “meta” questions, about the rules of balls and strikes, foul balls, walks, etc., where with my son, I was trying to explain base running and fielding strategy. It’s funny to think that as a six-year-old, my son is far, far more versed in the intracies of baseball than his friends’ parents.

        • JustSwain

          Ask them to explain Cricket to you sometime and you’ll feel like the six year old.

  • Chris S

    “Darwin Barney is kind of hot.”

    Gotta be the necklace.

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Memo to the Chicago Cubs. You scored in each inning David DeJesus walked. Maybe there is something to taking a base on balls.

    • hansman1982

      That is something the current regime will stress. DO NOT FEAR THE WALK!

    • FromFenwayPahk

      Also note how few walks the good guys gave up; especially the pen.

      • hardtop

        Word. Walks kill. Let’s not get carried away though, kids; The bullpen is not good because they had decent day.

        • FromFenwayPahk

          The pen gave up zero walks in this win. That’s all I want. I think starters may be forgiven the ocassional walk as they may have had to have gotten (too) cute working an entire line-up for 6-8 innings. But, the pen can’t be too cute. Come in to a mature game, face 1 to 7 batters, and pound the zone; unlike he who shall not be named out of the pen.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          THIS IS THE BEST BULLPEN IN THE HISTORY OF THE CUBS.

  • Brady

    Gotta say I am relieved to be the one breaking hearts tonight and not the ones being broken. A series win against a fairly good Dodgers team is a great plus as well. I am too lazy to look it up but can anyone tell me how many games Campana has started that we have won? (This year i mean). I think we have won pretty much all of them. Dude is stellar in getting on base so far. Hope he keeps it up and love him in the 2 hole behind DaJesus who also keeps getting on base.

    • rcleven

      I just cant watch that funny swing of his. Really surprised to see two balls hit out of the infield.

  • Cee-Dee-Vee

    Soooo Sveum is a genius for putting Shark to PH

    Loved Campana coming through with the solid double

    I went to the game yesterday and worst game I’ve ever been to. I was going to go to today’s instead but since Garza was supposed to pitch i said, that’s a sure win so i’ll go Saturday. How lucky am I, I missed an exciting win

    Ohh well, Cubs win! :)

  • hansman1982

    This team seems to have the 08 squad’s never say die attitude. The talent isn’t near there. On Friday the team was 6-4 in their last ten. If they can do that the rest of the way out that is 91 wins. Unfortunately, this is probably more of a .500 ball club and we will finish with 75-78 wins. But I have never been this positive about a Cubs team that was 6 under .500 early in May.

    • Gordy85

      Agreed. This is a team that is just going to continue to get better and that is very exciting. To me it just shows that things are changing and the future is bright. I can handle an expected below .500 season if things are changing. It is the big spending and trying to compete being followed by a .500 season that has been pissing me off for the last decade.

      • JustSwain

        Yeah, imagine how Angels fans feel this year.

    • Brady

      I think .500 is a very reasonable goal for this year. Anything more then that is a bonus. Also because of the bits and pieces I see are very promising and I feel that we aren’t as far away from being a really competitive team.

  • http://i Cory

    Im super high on Dejesus and Campana but I really feel like they should be flipped in the lineup. I feel like alot of Campana’s hits could end up getting the lead runner out even though he will probably never hit into a double play. For now its probably best to leave it as is.

    • Spencer

      I dunno about this. DeJesus is a good leadoff hitter. He sees a lot of pitches, and his OBP is solid. If he can get his average up about .10 or .15 more points, that’s icing on the cake. Plus, Sveum seems to like bunting with Campana every time DeJesus gets on, which is all right with me since he probably isn’t going to hit for average anyway. I’ll take a runner on second with one out all day with Castro and LaHair to follow, despite Castro’s apparently struggles with RISP.

      • http://i Cory

        That’s one of the things I had thought about. Is that the best thing to do with campanas speed? Make him bunt every time Dejesus is on. That’s the only reason I would leave them where they are. I mean there’s definitely the argument that Dejesus is a far more advance hitter then Tony so he’s more likely to drive in the run. Or that Tony will probably take the extra base everytime David gets a hit behind him. You have to consider how nervous he makes pitchers when he on base, also with Dejesus’s eye he may draw even more walks in the two hole setting up even more chance for the cubs best two hitters

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        Spencer, Castro is hitting .406 this year with RISP. Last year he hit .308, OPS .785. I think we tend to remember his failures more than his success because he’s the Cubs’ best hitter (assuming LaHair comes back to earth).

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          To pile on a little, Castro is actually hitting better with runners on compared to coming up with empty bases.

        • Spencer

          It’s really .406? wow, I would’ve thought it was a lot lower than that. I think you’re right about his failures being magnified (at the plate and in the field), and everyone forgets that he’s just 22. I do tend to remember when he strikes out with a guy on third more than say when Soriano does it, which probably isn’t fair. I guess I just expect Soriano to K.

          • Can’t think of a cool name

            It looks like today’s stats weren’t updated so it will go down a little to .389. But even with today’s horrendous day at the plate, 3 Ks, he was still 1-4 with 2 rbis. I really hope he tries to improve even more to be the best hitter he can be because he can really be special.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            There are two things to keep in mind when looking at “clutch” statistics. One, nobody gets significantly more/fewer “clutch” hits than you would expect given their overall numbers. Two, batting 0.400 in the cutch means that you fail 3 time per every 2 successes.

            The latter is important: we talk about guys being “automatic,” while at the same time drooling over a 40% success rate in other players but focusing on the 60% failurre rate for our player.

            • TC

              Not to quibble on your first point, but some players players *do* hit better in the clutch than others, but all evidence shows that it’s just due to random variation rather than that player actually being better in the “clutch” (the randomness is backed up by the basically non-existent correlation between year-to-year clutch scores for players)

              FanGraphs tries to measure clutchness, and has this to say:

              http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/clutch/

  • R.E.S

    With the versatility of Mather and Baker the Cubs could conceivably carry 13 pitchers for a time. Kind of doubt they will. Personally I think we would be better off with two lefty relievers than three utility infielders. At the same time I’d like to see what Cardenas could do if given a chance. So I won’t be to disappointed to If he comes up and a pitcher goes down.

  • 7-11

    did not see any of today’s game. very curious about the shark PH/HBP scenario. please break down. thanks in advance.

    • Brady

      Pretty simple, they brought in shark to pinch hit for the pitcher. He showed bunt, pulled back and got pegged in the elbow by the first pitch.

  • MaxM1908

    I know who’s getting the call for the She-View tomorrow. Keep it up, Marissa. Let’s sweep the Braves!

  • Myles

    Series She-View opponent should be Paula Deen, just sayin’ Brett…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      HOW DID YOU DO THAT? Dude. I already had the picture picked out as of yesterday morning. Are you spying on me??? You’re freaking me out!!!!

      • Myles

        Great minds think alike.

        Purely by coincidence, so do ours, I guess.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. That was funny. I like this guy.

    • hardtop

      how do two grown men even know where paula deen is from?

      • MaxM1908

        Well, to be technical, she’s not actually FROM Atlanta. I’m pretty sure she’s from Savannah, GA. At least, that’s where she has her restaurant “Mother and Two Sons”.

        • hardtop

          oh my god! are you telling me there are at least 3 grown men in pauls deens fan club? shit, the other two losers only knew the state but you actually know the city! what is it about her that does it for you? the quadruple chin?

          just kidding guys…

          do you realize the cubs haven’t lost a series since we were in right field for the 2nd came of the cardinals? it was our tv appearance that turned them around (well maybe not, but its almost as likely as tony c being the catalyst).

          • MaxM1908

            I definitely think our presence in RF gave the Cubs that extra-added confidence to start performing. Our thoughtful words of encouragement had to have a lasting impact. I plan on making my way up to Wrigley next week for the Phillies game to cheer with Brett and other BN-ers. Maybe that will propel them to a couple of series sweeps.

  • johnbres2

    “unnecessarily wild”??

  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    Literally the best game I’ve ever been to

  • gratefulled

    Fudge Pujols and his first home run of the season. The fact that that he stood there and watched it like it was a milestone pisses me off. I can only hope someone puts one in his helmet. Fudge that piece of ship.

    Go CUBS!!!!

    • gratefulled

      Oooohhhhh….and Rizzo tossed me a ball tonight. So, I’m pretty freaking happy.

  • Kevin

    What’s everyone’s thoughts on renovating Wrigley Field?
    I’ve heard things from building new clubhouse and pitching cages under ground to a whole new redesigned stadium, playing or not playing at Wrigley during construction/ renovations. I don’t see a whole lot online. Any Info would be appreciated.

  • calicubsfan007

    Travis Wood did far better than what I expected. The bullpen is much improved with the subtraction of you-know-who. If Wood can have another solid outing, I say replace Volstad with him.

  • Shawn

    Outstanding work by the bullpen. In five innings they allowed just 3 hits. The more I watch David DeJesus, the more I appreciate the way he plays the game. Travis Wood gave the Cubs exactly what they needed, a quality start. Great win, the Cubs are playing much better, and my guy Ian Stewart is back above the Mendoza Line.

  • Dougy D

    I think that the send of DeJesus home in the 9th was OK. I wasn’t terribly thrilled at first, but the play was bang-bang at home, and it didn’t end the inning if I recall. I like a little bit of aggression on the base paths. EDIT: It was a good throw to the cut-off man and a good throw to the plate, with the catcher doing a nice job blocking the plate. A good slide as well. I will admit that I leaped out of my seat when I saw the ball pop out of the catcher’s mitt.

    As far as Barney goes, why does everyone always have to rag on him? Why aren’t you pissed about Soriano starting almost everyday in left? Mather is clearly a better player and should at least be sharing time with him (thank god DeWitt is gone). Soriano doesn’t have any two-week hitting binges left in his system (my fingers are crossed that I am wrong and he starts tearing it up immediately), so the remote chance of it actually being worthwhile to have him being the everyday LF is gone. I will have to admit that he is actually putting forth an effort in LF this year, which is appreciated.

    • art

      i’m with you, if this kid Cardenas is so good, why isn’t he here starting ahead of Barney? i’m just saying, if someone is better, play him. that goes for Soriano, Soto, etc.

      • Drew

        My feeling is you will see him starting ahead of Barney before the All-Star break.

        Edit: Brain-fart this morning, I was thinking he was with Philly the last couple years as well

  • B-loved Conqueror

    Honestly, I can have no major complaints as long as the box score has more runs in our column than theirs.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Great win! I recorded it and just finished watching it. Good for Ian Stewart. He climbed above the Mendoza line.

  • art

    just read that Cardenas was with the Phillies, put on waivers by Oakland, and has been in AAA for the last 4 years, doesn’t that qualify him as a 4 A player?

    as i said recently about Cardenas, scouts said he couldn’t play the OF, wasn’t good enough to play SS or 3B, or so the Cubs put him at 2B. everything i’ve read says he’s slow, not good on D, no power.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hate when people use one flukey example – especially one that is still in the process of being fleshed out – in an effort to “prove” or “disprove” something. So it would be really obnoxious of me to point to Bryan LaHair as a reason not to be so quick to label a 24-year-old like Adrian Cardenas as AAAA player.

      But. Well.

      Bryan LaHair.

      • FromFenwayPahk

        Wistah!

  • Cliffy

    in games that Campana has started since his return, the cubs have won 6 and lost 3.

    • hardtop

      yeah, he’s a nice mascot. its good to get an example of “hustle” in the dugout. but lets not be confused: this is more coincidence than anything. it is certainly not bunt singles that are winning games (and yes, i know he hit a real double yesterday, im still not declaring him MVP)

  • Steve

    BRIAN LaHAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sully

    I totally disagree that DeJesus was out by a mile Brett. Very close actually. Thanks for all of your thought and care that you put into BN. It’s a daily thing for me.

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