Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs reacts to striking out against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Both teams wore the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Cubs lost Sunday to the Cardinals 10-3, losing the series two games to one, and looking bad doing it.
Starlin Castro's pose in the photo at the top of this post pretty much sums up today's effort. "Huh?" he's appearing to say... and that's about how the Cubs played Sunday afternoon. Mediocre-to-poor pitching by Paul Maholm, Lendy Castillo and Rodrigo Lopez. Inability to take advantage of two Cardinals errors; bad baserunning; over-aggressive at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Many of us were happy when we heard that Lance Berkman was going to miss the series. But Matt Carpenter filled in more than admirably for him -- today, going 4-for-4 with his first major league home run, two singles, a triple and five RBI.
Maybe it was for the best, then, that Dale Sveum trotted out a spring-training split-squad lineup on Sunday. Maholm has been pretty bad in both of his starts so far, and though Maholm wasn't a great pitcher in his years with the Pirates, he was better than this. So we can perhaps hope for improvement.
Instead of rehashing this game further, there's something else I want to talk about this afternoon.
As pointed out in the fanshot, Bowden is a Chicago-area native (played high school ball at Waubonsie Valley in Aurora) and, although he hasn't shown that much in his major league results so far, he does have a good arm and, you'd think, would fit in well with a Cubs bullpen that could use some help. The Red Sox, meanwhile, are in need of a center fielder after the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury on Friday, which could keep him out two months.
The comments in the fanshot suggest that I'd be the first one to drive Shawn Camp to the airport to replace him with Bowden, who is almost 11 years younger than Camp. (Yes, I would.)
Marlon Byrd for Michael Bowden? In a heartbeat. Boston Globe reporter Pete Abraham hints this could happen:
My suspicion is that Michael Bowden ends up with another team and helps out in the bullpen.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) April 15, 2012
I'd drive Byrd and Camp to the airport -- save some gas that way.
The Cubs head to south Florida to play some team whose name begins with "M" starting Tuesday. At least the Cubs will have their top three starters (Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija) going in this series. They will not be facing former teammate Carlos Zambrano, who went yesterday. But the team name escapes me at the moment. Can anyone help?