Joe Mather of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by Luis Valbuena after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
If you're expecting Shakespeare here -- sorry, the only reference to the Bard's work is in the headline to this recap of the Cubs' 6-1 win over the Mets, somewhat of a surprise given the starting-pitcher matchup.
I'm thinking Will himself would have been laughing at the Mets' errors in the seventh inning, two of which resulted in Cubs hitters reaching third base, one of them on a ball that landed about two feet in front of the plate. The Cubs wound up scoring four runs in the inning on just one hit, a single by Jeff Baker after reliever Jon Rauch had been chased from the game after his teammates' misplays.
Meanwhile, the Cubs' Travis Wood was throwing his best game of the season -- allowing just five hits and a walk over seven strong innings, striking out six. Wood has posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.2 WHIP in June and has begun to resemble the rookie who did so well for the Reds two years ago. At 25, Wood still has a chance to improve; he certainly looks, at least, like a capable No. 4 or No. 5 starter for any rotation.
Before the ridiculous bottom of the seventh in which the Cubs put the game away, Johan Santana had matched Wood pretty well; his only mistake was walking Geovany Soto and then serving up a gopher ball to Joe Mather, who had switched uniform numbers from 16 to 21 before the game. And why did you do that, Joe?
#Cubs Joe Mather switched to No. 21 because of his fondness for Roberto Clemente— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 26, 2012
Hey, whatever works. With Anthony Rizzo coming to the Cubs for tonight's game against the Mets, Mather solidified his spot on the roster and also played a decent center field. Jeff Baker, who might be the one let go for Rizzo, had two hits Monday night, but he seems superfluous on a roster with Rizzo, Bryan LaHair and Mather.
Speaking of LaHair, he was sent up to pinch-hit in the eighth inning against a lefthanded relief pitcher, Justin Hampson, just recalled by the Mets earlier Monday. LaHair struck out on a 3-2 pitch, which does not increase the likelihood that he'll be getting more playing time against LHP.
It was a gorgeous, cloud-free night at Wrigley; the announced total of tickets sold was 34,092, more than 7,000 below capacity, and fewer than that actually in the house, maybe 28,000. It'll be interesting to see if those figures change for tonight's game, with similar weather forecast and Rizzo making his Cubs debut. Many have seemed excited about Rizzo and interested to see him play. Will they show up?
Also, nice to meet BCBer Risky Business before last night's game; hope to see some more of you at Wrigley. If you'll forgive one more Shakespeare reference, don't expect to see another comedy of errors; as my old college friend Tom, a Mets fan in town for the series said, "It's all in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Mets." You don't get things like that every day.