Jake Arrieta struggled with his command and was hit hard and frequently (though I’ll have to check that strike zone tomorrow, as it was hard to see if he was getting squeezed from where I was sitting), and made it through just four innings tonight as a result. Most of the hits were of the “found a hole between two defenders” variety, but they typically had some pace on them.

Outside of that, it was pretty much a perfect night for the Cubs. The bats finally took advantage of facing a fill-in starter and a tired bullpen, and the Cubs’ bullpen was pretty much perfect. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo both went deep, and just about everyone else had a great night, too.

And, of course, there was this …

may 8 box

Full box score.

  • SenorGato

    Screw the little things in life, hurray Rizzo and Castro!

  • Featherstone

    Rizzo is just so locked in right now. It’s terrific to see.

    • Ivy Walls

      Rizzo is demonstrating why Billy Beane says that Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod are excellent talent snoopes. He is still 24 yrs old, he is athletic and strong and has a good baseball intelligence where he made some adjustments over the off season where credit appears to go to Bill Mueller and his asst Brumley. It also is apparent that the team is better prepared in using advanced baseball statistics. The only trouble is the Cubs have such spotty offense.

      It appears again they have to hit HR’s to score runs.

    • Head and Heart

      Love seeing Rizzo sitting 3rd in the NL in wOBA with a sustainable BABIP. He’s at .308 while LaRoche and Goldschmidt, the only two ahead of Rizzo in wOBA and wRC+, are at .378 and .398 respectively. Goldie has a career BABIP are .340 because of his power but still both guys are due for a little regression or a lot in the case of LaRoche.

  • cchoffman22

    Used 6 pitchers tonight. The worst ERA of the lot is 3.60. The kids can throw!

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Hooray for Garza trades!

    Rosscup, Ramirez, Grimm, and Olt all came to the Cubs either with or in exchange for Garza.

    • Kyle


    • Ivy Walls

      My first look at Rosscup in a big situation and he seemed to be an asset with his 90+ LH FB, like to see what his bender is like when he needs to throw it for a strike. But, but, but having 3 LHP in the bullpen is a big deal,

      August bullpen could have Vizcaino, Strope, Rondon, Ramirez and Grimm right side and Wright, Russell(or Rusin?) and Rosscup on the left side. Young and heat except for Rusin or Russell, yes eight.

      Talking with my scout friend on a dog walk moment I brought up the use of 8 and he said people are watching. Maybe the Cubs see something.

    • Isaac

      Shouldn’t this really be….”hooray for Mark Derosa trades!”

  • willis

    Wonderful to see the offensive output. Was hoping for a little more from Arrieta but as long as he’s feeling good, that’s what matters.

    I hope they bring this offense down south tomorrow.

  • Paddy26

    I’ve been loving the bullpen’s work. Russell seems to have become the weak link, not getting very many innings at all.

    Wish the offense could have saved some of this for some later games haha. I guess we should take what we can get.

    • Head and Heart

      I’d rather see Rosscup and Wright as the lefty arms out of the pen personally. Russell gave us a couple decent years but it seems like he’s losing effectiveness.

      • Ivy Walls

        Yes he has lost some inches on his FB and command on his bender. A lot innings/appearances. Funny thing about LHP relievers they find a way to remain relevant and in the league.

        • willis

          Rosscup has the best stuff of the three…I don’t think it’s close. But Wright has been pretty good lately, so I’d love to see them dispose of Russell somehow and let those two be the lefties. Neither are really “loogy” types either. Very nice to have.

  • Cubsin

    I think Russell will be fine in 2015 and later. He appeared in 151 games during Sveum’s two seasons as manager, and was likely warmed up but not used in many more. I he can get more rest this year with Wright and Rosscup sharing the load, he could be effective again.

  • waittilthisyear

    i only managed to catch a single pitch between my softball game and the time i spent (unsuccessfully) hitting on a girl at the subsequent bar, but it was castro’s homerun. i dont think i ever saw him put it on one that good. got to be his farthest hommer ever. anyone recall a deeper shot from starlin?

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      As The Outfield would suggest Play Deep..and hit a homer yourself. Your OBP with women is a higher priority than Castro’s jack distance. Lol…

  • JM

    As in the band The Outfield from the 80-90′s? Great band!

  • ssckelley

    Is there a video posted yet of Olt’s home run? I watched it over and over last night, he tattooed it. It was like he knew that pitch was coming.

  • IAN

    More Mike Olt, please. Less Darwin Barney, please.

  • spearman

    The Mike Olt ab was inpressive. It tells me he is recovered from his injury mentally. The pitcher had just hit Castillo on a pitch up and in, and he got a pitch up and in also. With his history and As hard as he was throwing that will give him confidence going forward.

    • ssckelley

      Not only that but one of the pitches Olt got in that at bat was up and in, knocking him out of the batters box. Knowing how some of his issues last season may have been from a beaning he took it was impressive he got right back in there and found a pitch to drive. Plus he hit that slam off a tough right handed reliever who was throwing gas while mixing in sliders with good movement on them.

      Very impressive all the way around.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Cubs look unbeatable…..against AA pitchers …. Still say Castro ahead of Rizzo- Castro would hit.400 and Rizzo still gets 40 HR and 125 RBI … If Olt wakes up he can follow Rizzo- what a 234 or 345 rest of season!!!!

    • ssckelley

      It makes no difference putting Rizzo or Castro at #3 or #4. I don’t know why you keep beating this drum.

      If Cleto is nothing more than a AA pitcher then I would hate to see what they have in AAA. Cleto was throwing mid to upper 90′s on his fastball and then dropping in sliders at ~87 using the same arm motion. I had to wipe the drool off the corners of my mouth watching him pitch, his only issue is control.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Seriously- Bryant 3B Baez SS Olt 2B Rizzo 1B Castro CF Lake LF and Soler RF in Sept — Wrigley field would be rockin

    • Chad

      Why not:
      Bryant LF, Baez/Olt 3B, Baez/Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Lake CF, Soler RF?

      That’s more prospects and not moving so many pieces to places they’ve never played. I’m sure you’re trolling but moving Castro to CF? Hard to take your post seriously.

    • baldtaxguy

      Olt at 2B?

      • Diehardthefirst

        He’s got good instincts and can make good throws from anywhere

        • baldtaxguy

          I keep hearing/reading this and I have not seen similar on the field, actually just the opposite.

  • Diehardthefirst

    That works too– call em all up in Sept and let’s get motivated for 2015-

  • http://BN Sacko

    I don’t see Castro moving from SS as he will be and is the veteran at that position for a long time to come. For RR credit I don’t think anyone, ‘ok a lot of people’ thought of Castro at Clean Up or even more that it would work out as well as it has. Especially for Rizzo’s #’s.
    Beaz appears to be awhile until he is fulltime MLB ready. It will be great when he gets here but he’s not going to move Castro out of SS.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I’m starting to wonder if having this big bullpen is more about showcasing more of our tradeable assets (and resting Russell so he could once again get better and be tradeable)

    • http://BN Sacko

      Interesting thought and I think you might be right..in addition they may be looking at Minors moving up..Wada, Hendricks, and additional BP arms and make a decision on Mcdonald.

  • V23

    WAIT….WAIT……Olt hit a bomb off a right hander??? Wow, Ricky, I guess it is physically possible for a right handed hitter to get a hit off a right handed pitcher.

    • http://BN Sacko

      Ricky’s comments, something like ‘it doesn’t really matter if you go 4 for 4 or 0 for 4, as it doesn’t determine if they will play the next day’ I hope that stops real soon!

    • ajbulls23

      I was arguing the point that Olt should be playing everyday two days ago with Cub fans that think Olt should be a platoon player. Glad to see him hit two bombs in the last two days since the argument. Olt can hit, he just needs to play everyday.

    • Kyle

      Got his OBP all the way up to almost .270.

      • ajbulls23

        It will continue to grow if he plays a lot more. I am not saying he is tearing the league up, but I do believe with a lot more AB’s he will be a very good hitter.

        • Drew7

          “It will continue to grow if he plays a lot more.”

          That is far, far less certain than you seem to think it is.

          • ajbulls23

            That is my opinion Drew. Just like every person in here has their opinion. I think he has the tools to be a very good hitter at this level. He just needs the AB’s.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Drew haven’t you gotten the latest memo we can disagree with anyone because the have opinions man. Rainbows and lollipops for all. No matter how ridiculous and wrong logic might be you are not allowed to disagree it hurts feelings. Facts, numbers, logic be damned because all that matters is not hurting somebody’s feelings when they make an opinion.

              • Fishin Phil

                Just makes me want to give the poor little goat a hug. You know, in a manly puppet sort of way.

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  A hug would hurt my feeling but that’s just my opinion.

                  • Fishin Phil

                    Btw, I still haven’t received my damn lollipop!

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      See below you dirty puppet

          • ajbulls23

            As the weather warms and more baseballs begin leaving Wrigley, Olt’s power is going to become more and more of an asset to the team. Rizzo was horrible against lefties last year. This year he is hitting better against lefties then righties. I believe we wouldn’t be seeing the progress he has made so far this year if he would have been platooned last year, taking away AB’s to learn from.

      • SenorGato

        That’s Renteria’s fault. Without Olt and Lake getting more opportunity than they deserve the future is so unclear!

        • itzscott

          Seems to me he just needs consistent ABs against major league pitching….not batting cage pitching, not batting practice pitching….. the more, the better….. to get it down.

          He’s no different than Baez or most players when they move up a level. The more they play, the more likely they adjust.

          • Darth Ivy


            I’m sure they’ll give it to him sooner or later. I can’t imagine them regulating to a part time role without even giving him a shot at playing everyday

  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat


    • Fishin Phil

      Hooray for Rainbows!

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