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I can think of worse ways to start off the season, but this would make the top ten.

The Cubs put on plenty of baserunners today, but could do diddly with them. They were scoreless through 10, and, unfortunately, the Pirates were scoreless through 9. But, uh, they get to bat in the 10th, too, and a Neil Walker walk-off did the trick.

Jeff Samardzija wasn’t absolutely overpowering today, but he was damn good. His splitter – which is his wipeout pitch – wasn’t working for him today, which I expect is an early-season thing. But he was mixing up his other offerings well, and his two-seamer had some seriously effective movement. The defense was fantastic behind him today, with a great double play by Starlin Castro (and a fake at second base on a hit and run that led to another double play by Emilio Bonifacio) and great speed in left and center (not used to seeing that).

Unfortunately for the Cubs, Francisco Liriano was absolutely overpowering today, and many of them looked a little silly against the lefty. Kudos to the Cubs for working counts and getting Liriano out after six, but it didn’t really matter, because the general storyline stayed the same after he exited.

At least Emilio Bonifacio had four hits. So what if he got picked off in the 10th inning? And at least the bullpen was solid. So what if swing man Carlos Villanueva swung right into that Walker homer?

(I know it was a close, low-scoring game, and I’m not going to jump on anything after just one game, but I sure didn’t care for the volume of sacrifice bunt attempts we saw called for in this one. I don’t want to get into a whole debate here, but sac bunts are pretty much always a bad idea (aside from the 9th inning, with a guy on second base, nobody out, and the team needing just one run), even when they’re successful. And, as we saw with Samardzija bunting into a crippling double play, they aren’t always successful. The Cubs gave away so many outs today with nothing to show for it.)

march 31 box

Full box score.

  • GoCubsGo

    Good grief Ricky. Does SSS apply to manager? He just took all of my false hope and crushed it in the form of 3 sac bunts. But hey, he’s bilingual!

  • TWC

    Yay EBSes!

    Too bad it’s a loss.

  • ari gold

    1 game in, and I’m already tired of the team RISP stat. LOL

  • Kyle

    So Mike Olt and Junior Lake still can’t make contact in competitive games, our manager loves sack bunts, we’ve got a guy coming off a .295 OBP leading off because he’s fast (and he almost managed to make three outs on the basepaths in one game), and the only bright spot would be off the team tomorrow if someone ponied up a few prospects.

    This won’t be going on my list of all-time favorite Opening Days or anything.

    • ssckelley

      Shark was awesome…for whatever that is worth.

      • Napercal

        Hopefully a TOR prospect another top 5 system prospect and a low level prospect!

        • ssckelley

          No, I am sick of trading for prospects. Sign him to an extension!!!!!!!

          • Napercal

            I’m ok with that too.

    • J. L.

      I just can’t get over Junior Lake being on a major league roster. AND BATTING SECOND.

    • blublud

      Rizzo strikes out 3 times, and you feel the need to call out Lake and Olt.

      • Kyle

        Rizzo will always struggle with lefties.

        Olt and Lake need to crush lefties. If they are being made to whiff and look silly against their favorable platoon split, it’s concerning.

        • ssckelley

          Take a deep breath Kyle, it is only 1 game.

          • Kyle

            And this is the reaction thread to that game. Where we react to what happened in that game.

            • ssckelley

              Oh well heck in that case.

              I told you all they should have sent Olt and Lake down to start the season in AAA!!!!!

              • Kyle

                Lake at the very least, yes. Would have loved to see him go to AAA.

                • ssckelley

                  TBH, I think Lake getting hot at the end of the spring saved his ass from being sent down.

                  • Funn Dave

                    Probably true. Then again, we don’t exactly have a ton of great options for the outfield.

                • another JP

                  Yeah… and start your BFF Vitters. LMFAO.

            • BT

              I think his point is you aren’t reacting to one game. You seem to be making broad generalizations, based on one game. React away, but definitively claiming Olt and Lake can’t make contact in competitive games based on 3 and 4 at bats respectively is sort of silly.

              Unless we are conceding that Bonifacio is hitting .800 this year.

              • Kyle

                If it seems that way, then the reader is making an error and should attempt to read the post again.

                • BT

                  It’s always my fault, isn’t it Kyle? Funny thing is, I don’t seem to have these problems with anyone else. It must be because you are operating on a plane so much higher than me.

                  • DarthHater

                    I could find fault with everything you say, too, if that would help. :-P

                    • BT

                      It’s not the finding fault part (after all, that’s why we are here) it’s just that whenever Kyle and I don’t agree, it’s because I’m just not bright enough to figure out what he’s talking about.

                      According to him.

                    • Kyle

                      If the shoe fits…

                      Go back to the post you replied to. Do you see the word “still” in it? Can you describe how it modifies the meaning of the sentence in a way that your response does not appear to understand?

                      I can explain it to you if you need me to.

                    • Kyle

                      To be more clear, I mean the post that began this line of discussion.

                    • Funn Dave

                      Yes. “Still” modifies the sentence to imply that they could not hit competitive hitting last year. However, it also implies that today’s game was evidence that they can not do so this year as well. Otherwise, there’s nothing on which to base the statement. It certainly didn’t come out of nowhere; it was the direct result of their struggles today. It’s pretty clear to me that BT fully understood what you were saying.

                  • Kyle

                    Yes. You’re special and I only disagree with you. *eyeroll*

                    • roz

                      ^ that’s definitely not true ;)

                  • Kyle

                    “Yes. “Still” modifies the sentence to imply that they could not hit competitive hitting last year. However, it also implies that today’s game was evidence that they can not do so this year as well. Otherwise, there’s nothing on which to base the statement. It certainly didn’t come out of nowhere; it was the direct result of their struggles today. It’s pretty clear to me that BT fully understood what you were saying.”

                    It implies that this was a data point continuing a previously concerning trend. The trend is the overwhelming source for the concern, but the data point today is still annoying on the scale of “what do we talk about in the reaction thread to that game.”

            • davidalanu

              [img]http://scumbaganimals.com/hyper-billy-goat/[/img]

              • davidalanu

                Sorry. (hanging my head in shame over the pic fail..)

        • Spoda17

          You guys are acting like Larriano is a scrub… He is one of the toughest pitchers in the NL… Yeah, I would have loved some more offense, but let’s keep things in perspective and not jump off the cliff after one game…

        • blublud

          You know, SSS applies here. I think its too early to get worked up. If we had these concerns coming in, and we did, then fine, they’re concerns, but to jump one way or another after one game is a little premature. Do you think Lake and Olt wouldn’t K more than once in any games this year. They just so happen to do it on opening day. Let wait at least a week to jump to conclusions.

          • Kyle

            Nobody is jumping to any conclusions.

            • Camiata2

              We need a mat to do this anyways.

            • another JP

              Whopper #2,495,392 by Leonard Nimoy’s spawn.

            • roz

              “Mike Olt and Junior Lake still can’t make contact in competitive games”

              That could probably be construed as a conclusion.

              • Kyle

                Context should be sufficient to make it clear that it isn’t.

                • davidalanu

                  Bullshit. Rizzo *can’t* hit lefties, Old and Lake *can’t* make contact are conclusions. Those are definitive statements. You may or may not be proven correct (you know, after more than one game), but you made definitive statements. Conclusions. At least stand by them instead of trying to backtrack.

                  Players who say stupid shit try to hide behind “context”.

        • Orval Overall

          Liriano strikes out lots of people, and many of them look foolish when he does.

          It’s one bleeping game, against a good pitcher.

          • Jon

            In addition to Liriano, Sizemore also went deep today. Can we bitch about the fact Team Theo can’t even get dumpster diving right?

            • ssckelley

              I remember pining for Sizemore last fall and most on here said it was a bad idea.

        • JacqueJones

          Francisco Liriano is good. He made a lot of hitters look silly last year. I’m not saying this wasn’t disappointing but lets see how they do against wandy (a more average lefty) before jumping to conclusions

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        In fairness, for lefties, Liriano might be the hardest starting pitcher in baseball to hit

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Last season, they hit .132, with a .352 ops. Gave up 15 singles and 2 doubles all year.

    • wkranz

      I am sure there will be days to hate on Bonifacio being a lead off hitter. Probably not on a day he was 4-5. He really got picked off once (the other was actually good baserunning to get Starlin up to 2nd). I was pleased with Bonifacio, pretty much everything else on offense was terrible…NO PITCH SELECTION.

  • ssckelley

    Leaving runners stranded in scoring position, runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs, and fail to score.

    Picked right back where we left off last season.

  • KHRSS

    At least Castro got a walk and didn’t SO, didn’t it take him like 40+ at bats to get a walk last year?

  • Porkslap

    Man Rizzo was whiffing on those sliders by about a foot.

    • ssckelley

      I tuned in to the game late, friggin work!, but the big swing and a miss by Lake was off by at least a foot.

      When does football season start? :D

      • MichaelD

        I haven’t really thought about football since the Super Bowl, but I happened to just end up reading a football article this afternoon. Afterward it dawned on me it was opening day. Sub-consciously I guess I’m already done with baseball.

        • ssckelley

          I was joking, I am not bailing out yet after only 1 game. Besides, I plan on making a few trips to Des Moines to check out a real team and perhaps to Cedar Rapids when Kane County comes to town.

  • blublud

    The Sac bunt is the biggest thing, beside WAR, and maybe even more, that I disagree with the metric guys on. There is a reason why most, if not all, managers and organizations use them. You know, even the ones that use lots of metrics. Some use them more than others, yes, but all organizations use them. I’ll we agree to disagree, but a scale bunt is useful.

    Good game from Shark and Bonifacio.

    • Jason P

      You’re arguing with stats that show that 95% of the time, sacrifice bunting decreases your expected run output for the inning.

  • SenorGato

    Rizzo’s first PA was depressing. I missed the rest, stopped paying attention after the Bonifacio rundown (which I did like but from then on I figured the Cubs would lose).

  • http://ryanissamson.drupalgardens.com ryanissamson

    Oh dear. Glad I didn’t get mlb.tv this year. Keeping up with Gameday was sufficiently frustrating.

    RISP ftl.

    • Funn Dave

      Saaaame here.

  • itzscott

    Villanueva took the loss. Was it a meaningless statistic or was it representative of his effectiveness?

    Obviously the latter.

    He deserved to have / earned an “L”

    • blublud

      Right, and if his team had scored one run, something even bad teams can do in most games, he would have never been in that position. But that’s his fault too, huh.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Did Samardizja and Liriano deserve no decisions??

    • Karl Groucho

      He’ll have to read
      [img]http://thecatholicgiftstore.com/images/uploads/bk1808.jpg[/img]

      • ssckelley

        lmao, well played!

      • Funn Dave

        Haha, nice.

      • Picklenose

        That is pretty funny!

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3779/13547060744_b6871415e2.jpg[/img]

  • Blackhawks1963

    Scoring runs is going to be the challenge. Just like it was in 2012 and 2013. The good news is that this organization has assembled a massively impressive group of postional prospects….Almora, Baez, Bryant, Alcantara, Soler, Hanneman, Villenueva, Candeleria, some others.

    Olt is a placeholder. He just is. Rizzo will be fine. In a sophmore slump season with lousy lineup protection he still had 40 doubles, 25 HRs. What he needs is some lineup protection and what he needs is to sit against a lot of lefties in the league. Castro should be fine.

    • ssckelley

      I love how you post everything that rumbles through your mind. You do a good job posting your thought process on everything, even if it is way out in left field.

      Back off the ledge BH, this is only the first game!

    • roz

      “Olt is a placeholder. He just is.”

      You’ve come to this conclusion after a single game? That’s impressively stupid.

      • Funn Dave

        No. He’s come to that conclusion based on Olt’s history, the Cubs’ current lineup, and their incoming crop of young talent.

        • roz

          A history that includes a .288/.398/.579 slash line at AA. A lineup that pretty much sucks, with no one really pushing him. An incoming crop of talent including Javier Baez (who’s getting playing time at second), Arismendy Alcantara (who moved from SS to 2B and is being mentioned playing CF), Kris Bryant (who has been mentioned as possibly moving to the outfield ever since he was drafted), Jeimer Candelario (who is 20), and Christian Villanueva. Villaneuva is the only one who doesn’t really have a reason to not be pushing Olt off of 3B.

          So basically, there’s really not anything that indicates that Olt is definitely a placeholder.

          • roz

            I should also add about his history – there’s a fairly plausible reason for Olt’s shitty 2013 minor league campaign that isn’t because of a lack of skill, so that doesn’t really indicate that he’s a placeholder.

        • ssckelley

          Dave, if you read BH’s comments enough you know that he is basing it off one game. He was doing this crap after spring training games in early March.

          Besides the Cubs are hoping he is more than just a placeholder. Players like Murphy and Valbuena are placeholders not 25 year old prospects that just made the team out of spring training.

  • Chad

    It was a rough day for the cubs, but I got to watch it with my boy (his first ever opening day or baseball game EVER). Sported our bleachernation shirts as well, and took a commemorative photo.

    Crap was going to post the photo, but can’t. oh well.

  • Crockett

    Sac bunts to choke a donkey. I gotta imagine that Dale Sveum was somewhere chuckling.

    Rizzo is a mess. Moving parts everywhere. Not settled at the plate. Can we redo the trade and get Cashner back?

    • blublud

      I’m big on Rizzo, but he does look bad. His struggles, however, is more reason to hold on to Vogelbach. You know, just in case.

  • oneshotdan

    Cubs suck…Sure glad I’m not in Chicago investing into the Cubs this year. I’ve been a diehard Cubbie fan since 1962 , the year I was born. I remember bumming school in the afternoon when I was 7 in old to watch Jack Brickhouse on channel 9…what a disappointment it has been all my life…I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired…I may never see a championship in Chitown…what a Fu—Ing mistake it’s been ever to invest in this losing team year after year !

    • newsguy23

      Get off the ledge oneshot….. I feel your pain and was ready to explode until I read your comments and know I am not alone… It does suck

    • roz

      You don’t sound like much of a diehard fan any more.

  • Spoda17

    I will agree I am not sure why Lake is guaranteed a starting spot… He may have an unknown potential, but he also has a known weakness… can’t hit…

    • blublud

      Please name me an OF on this team more deserving.

      • Kyle

        Sweeney, Kalish, Bonifacio, Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Vitters. Is McDonald still in the organization?

        • blublud

          Right, because they are all so much better. None have out performed in the last year, really, and none, aside from Kalish can come close to offering the upside.

          • J. L.

            Enough with the upside talk about Lake. He’s not a major league-caliber player, period. He might become one with more seasoning (I highly doubt it, though), but he’s evidently overmatched against major league pitchers right now. I have no idea why the front office thinks he belongs with the big team. Perhaps, like me, they feel there’s no instruction in the world that will ever turn him into a mature baseball player – but that’s hardly a good reason to give him a spot on the big league roster.

            • blublud

              Right, because his .284/.332/.428/.760 line from last year was absolutely horrible. I mean, there is 100 hundred prospects in every system that could duplicate those numbers.

              No one is saying Lake is a star, nor am I definitively saying he’ll be successful this year. But to jump to conclusion after a preseason and one game is ridiculous. Get over it man.

              • Kyle

                Many of us were heavily skeptical of Lake’s ability to maintain that slash line before spring training.

                • blublud

                  So am I, but until you buy a crystal ball and a deck of cards, you don’t know that 100%.

                  You know, aside from the Campania fun i was having, I have never really questioned the FO moves, because they clearly have more info than I do, and as a guy who resents all the modern metrics, more than I care to.

                  • Kyle

                    Yeah, they lost that benefit of the doubt with me a long time ago. Somewhere between Ian Stewart and Gerardo Concepcion.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Schierholtz, Valbuena, Gregg, Navarro, Feldman, Wood, Maholm …

                      Shall I go on? Or are we going to leave our ridiculous cherry picking alone for the day?

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                “100 hundred ”

                Couldn’t you just say 10,000?

                Lake is going to be one of those guys that toils away for a few years and bounces through a couple teams before posting a 6 WAR season and then fading back into obscurity.

          • Kyle

            There’s more to scouting and projecting baseball players than simply looking at their slash line the last year and generally liking athletic guys.

            • blublud

              Exactly, and Lake, I’m sure has been scouted and analyzed by Theo and comp quit a bit, and they found reason to put him on the team. That my point. Maybe he swims, maybe he sinks, but there is obviously no one right now who the FO feels is more deserving or that can help the team right now, because if there was, they would be here and he wouldn’t.

        • Fishin Phil

          Kyle, I was with until you said McDonald.

        • ssckelley

          Kyle, weren’t you the one dogging on Kalish the other day? Now you say he is more deserving than Lake?

          • Kyle

            I’m that down on Lake.

      • Spoda17

        I would Kalish and Vitters a better look than Lake

    • Blackhawks1963

      Junior Lake is on a short leash. Either he shows he can hit or he will be demoted down to Iowa by May 1st is my guess. I’m not optimistic on Lake. But given that the current options available aren’t exactly earth shattering he deserves a shot to show he belongs at this level.

      • Funn Dave

        Agreed.

  • cubs2015

    hitting with RISP kills us again. I would rather the 0-11 from the cubs than the 0-3 from the Pirates though. At least shows were giving ourselves more opportunities to score

  • Funn Dave

    I shouldn’t even go there, but…imagine how much different this game could have gone with Baez’s bat in the lineup. Might not even gone to a tenth inning. Then again, we might not have gotten those double plays, either.

    • Orval Overall

      He also might have struck out 5 times against Liriano, a pitcher that is a metric ton better than anyone Baez faced at AA last year.

      You had it right in the first five words.

      • Funn Dave

        …and what of the MLB pitchers he faced this spring?

      • Kyle

        Yeah, as excited as I am about Baez, a guy burying good low breaking balls all day isn’t his ideal environment.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Nothing personal, but some of you guys are really horseshit fans. It was a well played game, cubs are a much improved team, going to be fun to watch.

    • Orval Overall

      “Nothing personal, but [something personal].”

      Way to elevate the level of discourse.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        The level of discourse is immature at best. Its one freaking game, against one of the leagues best pitchers.

        • Kyle

          Yeah. The angst you are seeing in Cub fandom is *totally* about this single game and has nothing to do with the last five years of turd sandwiches.

        • ssckelley

          Liriano might only be one of the games best pitchers because he gets to face the Cubs about 5 times per season. He shutout the Cubs 1-0 in his first start against the Cubs last May as well.

          Bottom line is the Cubs need to figure out how to hit left handed pitching.

          • C. Steadman

            I wonder if Ruggiano was healthy that he could’ve changed the outcome before it got to the 10th. We were missing a key component of our “against LHP lineup”

    • Fishin Phil

      I honestly think they will be more entertaining this year than last.

    • Funn Dave

      They are not a much improved team. They aren’t even a slightly improved team. The bullpen is ostensibly a bit better than last year’s, but it is outweighed by the glaring weaknesses elsewhere (OF, SP, etc.).

  • cubzfan23

    0-11 risp… not good. By all counts should get at least 3 hits in those 11 chances. This stat has to change. I truly believe this team could be competitive, one stat you can’t such at.

    • blublud

      Don’t worry, if we get 11 at-bats with RISP in most games, we won’t be shutout. As the statheads say, this game was an outlier, not the norm.

  • Featherstone

    Hey at least Bonifacio is on pace for 480 hits this year, Right?

    • Blackhawks1963

      Meh. Bonafacio also showed why he has moved around a lot. His defense isn’t good anywhere and the pickoff was, frankly speaking, inexcusable at that late stage of game. Lets please not overrate what Bonafacio is.

  • Picklenose

    The Cubs played evenly with a very good team and pitcher until it slipped away in extra innings. That is my story and I’m sticking with it!
    Honestly, I am disappointed by the loss, but happy that I got to see a competitive team and some good plays. I am hopeful for more competitive games and wins this year.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m a big fan of Rizzo, but the reality is he needs to sit against most left-handed pitchers. At least for the forseeable future. Throwing him out there against a real tough cookie in Liriano was going to be tough.

    I also think you need to selectively play Olt, who I see as a placeholder / utility player. Maybe he spells Rizzo at 1st base against lefties, and maybe he splits or near splits playing time with Valbuena at 3rd.

    This margin for error with this team will be razor thin in 2014. Just like the last two seasons. They can’t leave that many men in scoring position, even against a great pitcher. They’ve got to find a way to plate a run or two in those circumstances or else we lose a whole mess of games.

    I can’t get mad at Villenueva. He’s the 3rd option today out of the pen who comes into a 0-0 game in the bottom of the 10th inning. That’s bound to rarely have a happy ending for the pitcher.

    Silver lining? One start, but Samardzija’s trade value only went up.

    • ssckelley

      Give us more over reacting analysis while making some of the same points you have already mentioned! I think you need to mention Olt is a placeholder about 5 more times so we get the point.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    one game one game keep telling yourself it’s only one game.

  • Darth Ivy

    I thought Villanueva was their 5th starter? Why was he coming in for relief? Obviously I’m missing something

    And damn, c’mon Rizzo.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Only need 4 starters right now until the schedule more fully kicks in. Seriously, you can’t fault going with Villenueva as the 4th banana out of the pen today. Nobody can tell me they would have felt better with Wright or Rondon.

      • Darth Ivy

        I’m not trying to fault anybody. I just didn’t understand. But that makes sense. If you’re gonna skip his start, you want him getting some game action in.

    • C. Steadman

      because tomorrow is an off day so Samardzija can jump over the 5th spot and start again Saturday.

      • Darth Ivy

        thanks. makes sense

  • blublud

    It’s funny how people have come to a conclusion about our teams, the players and the season, after one game, where our offense did about as well as well as the pirates offense(a playoff team), and won on a play that just about any player on either side could have made at any given moment……. Jeez, I bet those pirate fans are real concerned that their offense will suck.

    • Porkslap

      Agreed. Just happy to be watching real games. Thought it was a good game.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Who on earth is reacting to ONE GAME? I’m sure not. Rather I am a highly optimistic for the future guy but who won’t live in denial about the current condition of the 2014 Cubs. Our ability to score runs is going to be a big issue for the 3rd season in a row…it’s hardly a reaction to one friggin game. Likewise, our pitching is a mixed bag at best…again, hardly a reaction to the 4th relief option out of the pen today coughing up the go ahead winning run.

      • Porkslap

        Plenty of time remaining in the season to grumble about lack of offense. At least give them a chance to prove us wrong. Most the guys on the roster weren’t even Cubs a couple seasons ago. Its not their fault the 2012 Cubs couldn’t score many runs.

        Is this team going to lead the league in runs? No chance. But if they can hold teams like the Pirates to 0 runs and get 10 cracks at scoring runs a game they will win more than they lose. That’s what I choose to take away from today’s game, but I guess I’m in denial.

      • C. Steadman

        “Who on earth is reacting to ONE GAME? I’m sure not.”

        Way too early to call Olt a mere placeholder…that’s reacting to one game

        • ssckelley

          ^ this

          I am laughing my ass off that blackhawks is the first one to get defensive that he is not the one over reacting.

    • C. Steadman

      Agreed, this is baseball…marathon not a sprint…Wednesday the Cubs could get 10+ runs and lose 11-10 and we’ll be talking about pitching and not the offense. Bonifacio had a good game in CF and liked the flexibility it allowed RR to pinch hit for Barney when we needed a better hitter in Sweeney. He made some BR mistakes but it’s also the first game of the year. It’ll get ironed out. I like the efficiency Shark showed. He seemed to pitch more to contact instead of trying to strike everyone out. Statline I liked more than the 4-5 from Boni…89 pitches thru 7 IP and only 2 BB from Shark

  • Darth Ivy

    It was tough to watch Cashner show that he’s a true #1 last night then today watch Rizzo do…well…whatever the F he was doing today.

    Sigh, whatever. At least tomorrow’s an off day

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Look at Cashner’s splits way from Petco. He’s a good pitcher, but he still is what he is. A guy with really good stuff who has big time injury concerns

      Rizzo had one bad game in probably the toughest lefty-lefty matchup in the league.

      I don’t have even the slightest bit of regret about that trade

      • mjhurdle

        agreed with this 100%.
        If Cashner could pitch in Petco every game, then he might be a true #1.

  • Porkslap

    Positives – bullpen looked good. Samardzija was very efficient even without his dominant stuff. Offense created some opportunities against a dominant performance by Liriano. Would have been thievery to win this game. All in all a good loss, thought the fellas looked ok. Castro was focused and into it (can’t remember ever seeing him pissed like he was when he hit into the double play). I chalk up the strikeouts and untimely hitting to great Pittsburgh pitching and first game jitters. Look forward to Wednesday and I have a feeling the bats will show up.

    Wasn’t it nice to finally have a real game? I was into it.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Why Villanueva and not Veras?

    Didn’t really get that one. Too many bunts!

    • cubfanincardinalland

      On the road, you save your closer until you take the lead.
      Strange what people see, I thought lake looked good today. Solid single, saw a lot of pitches, laid down a perfect bunt, ran some tough balls down in the field.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Well on the bright side, Samardzija may have given a slight boost to his trade value, and at minimum didn’t hurt it. Blue Jay’s still need a starter?

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