I have been criticized on this website for being too "negative" about the Cubs.
So in writing this recap of the Cubs' 5-2 loss to the Brewers, I am going to highlight the positive things that happened! Let us begin!
- Emilio Bonifacio hit a single. He has 30 hits this year. Only five big-league players have more!
- Starlin Castro hit a single. He began a new hitting streak! (One game.)
- Nate Schierholtz hit a double. He also began a new hitting streak! (One game.)
- Ryan Sweeney hit a single. He has a three-game hitting streak!
- Ryan Kalish hit a single.
- Neil Ramirez made his major-league debut and threw a scoreless inning. His 0.00 ERA is tied for the best in the major leagues!
- Wesley Wright threw two scoreless innings, proving that his manager will leave lefthanded relief pitchers in for more than one inning!
I just have one question. We know that Matt Garza is a bad fielder. We know he has trouble fielding bunts. Why didn't the Cubs bunt to try to get on base???? Just one Cubs player bunted at all, and that was pitcher Carlos Villanueva, who was not trying to get on base; instead, he was attempting a sacrifice bunt. It succeeded! And a run scored after the bunt on a single by Emilio Bonifacio.
This isn't necessarily good news. All it will do is make Rick(y) Renteria bunt more often, but not for the right reasons. This is not a good thing.
Here's another thing I don't understand, from Mark Gonzales' recap in the Tribune:
Most of the attempts at creativity for the Cubs occurred before the game as Starlin Castro batted cleanup for only the second time in his career. That was designed primarily to break up the row of left-handed batters in the Cubs' lineup in anticipation of a close game because the Brewers have three left-handed relievers.
Really? Really? You're setting up your lineup for the possibility of relief pitchers? I don't understand this at all. No bunting against Garza. Thinking you'll split up the lefthanders in the lineup because a lefty reliever might come in later in the game (Zach Duke did, and wound up striking out the side, but by that time Milwaukee had the game well in hand). Is this actual baseball thinking, or a parlor game?
Sorry. I said I was going to try not to be negative. It ain't easy. Let me mention here that there were two replay reviews during the game; one went against the Cubs, the other in their favor. Neither one took too long to decide, and I think we are settling in to everyone getting more comfortable with the system and that perhaps as the season goes on, reviews will take less and less time.