Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 1, Braves 4 – April 5, 2013
The Cubs were hitting the ball hard early against Mike Minor, they just weren’t getting any of them to fall. Their BABIP luck this year has been crap (not that I’m saying this is a potent offense or anything). Anthony Rizzo’s struggles against lefties continue, as he looked completely lost against Minor (three ugly Ks).
I’m going to pick on Scott Feldman a bit, but I’m admitting up front that this is picking. In the first inning, he was cruising. He got the first two guys quickly, and had Justin Upton down 0-2. Welington Castillo called for three different outside pitches, all of which Feldman shook off. Finally, Castillo allowed Feldman to throw what he obviously wanted to throw: an inside fastball. The problem? Justin Upton feasts on inside pitches, even those off the plate (see the TAv chart). Upton’s hands quickly got around on the ball (which was down and in, not up and in as it should have been (if it was to be inside at all)), and he lasered it out to left. It struck me immediately as both a physical and mental mistake, especially 0-2 on a hitter like Upton.
Obviously it was a rough debut for Feldman, who clearly has good stuff, but made little mistakes all night. He certainly filled up the stat sheet.