I've been trying to think of something, anything positive about last night's 5-0 Cubs loss to the Rockies.
Here's all I can come up with: Matt Garza didn't give up any home runs.
That's it. The Cubs were thoroughly dominated by Jhoulys Chacin, who is off to an excellent start this year and who threw the first complete game shutout by a Rockies pitcher in Coors Field since Aaron Cook shut out the Padres on July 1, 2008 (and the first by anybody since Roy Oswalt shut out the Rockies on September 6, 2008; there have been only 18 CG shutouts in the 16-year history of Coors Field, 10 of them by Rockies).
Remember 2008? Man, that was a good year for the Cubs. Well, until October 1, anyway. (Timeout for wistful memories of the 97-win regular season in 2008.)
Garza made only one real mistake: he grooved one to Chris Iannetta with the bases loaded; Marlon Byrd just missed catching it and it turned into a bases-clearing triple; when Starlin Castro put the relay throw into the third-base dugout, Iannetta scored (he would have scored later anyway on Dexter Fowler's double). You might as well have turned your TV off then, as that was more than enough for the Rockies. Even if Byrd had made the catch, one run would have scored -- it was plenty deep enough for a sacrifice fly -- and that would have been enough, too, given how tough Chacin was last night.
Other random notes from a game in which the Cubs did almost nothing (Aramis Ramirez' three hits were about the only highlight):
- The Twitterverse lit up last night when Carlos Pena smoked a foul ball down the 1B line off the leg of umpire Jerry Layne, who had to leave the game, although he eventually walked off under his own power. The gist of the tweets was, "See? Pena can hit something!"
- Garza is a really, really bad hitter. At one point he stood at the plate after strike three was dropped, rather than running; apparently, he thought he had fouled the pitch off. No, Matt, no. So far this year he's 0-for-7 with five strikeouts.
For those of you who couldn't see this game because it was on WCIU, consider yourselves lucky. The Cubs will try it again tonight with Casey Coleman facing Jason Hammel. You may be more entertained by a thirty-minute special WGN is running before the game called "Ron Santo: In His Own Words", featuring interviews with Ron and highlights from his playing and broadcasting career. That airs tonight on WGN-TV at 6:30 p.m. -- note, in Chicago only, not on WGN America (an oversight which WGN should not have made).