During the telecast of the Cubs' 5-2 win over the Mets Saturday afternoon, the team's third win in a row, Len and JD started talking about which Cub might make the All-Star team, during a discussion of the All-Star Game, which is to be held at Citi Field.
They quickly narrowed it down to pitchers (since the offense has been pretty moribund most of the year), and their consensus was Travis Wood. I can't argue too much with that, but if Scott Feldman puts up another few outings like the one he had Saturday, he might go to Citi Field with the N.L. All-Stars, too. And -- though this is not helping my argument in favor of the DH -- they might consider taking him along as a pinch-hitter, too. Feldman's single in the fourth inning drove in the Cubs' first two runs, and he now has eight for the season, which is the most for any pitcher in the major leagues this year... passing up Wood, who has seven. Wood and Feldman are the only MLB pitchers who have more than four RBI this year. (Maybe they're doing this just to spite my position in favor of the DH. I can't argue with their production, at least not this year.)
Feldman's pitching, too, was outstanding. He threw seven innings, and gave up hits in just one of them, the fourth, when a pair of doubles by Daniel Murphy and David Wright scored the Mets' first run, and the only one he gave up.
Carlos Villanueva got into a bit of trouble relieving Feldman, and allowed one run, but got out of a jam that brought the tying run to the plate. That's because the Cubs put the game away with a three-run rally in the top of the eighth inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Starlin Castro that was ruled to have hit a railing above the wall in left field -- otherwise it might have scored three runs.
Kevin Gregg finished up for his ninth save in nine tries, but I'm guessing he won't be available Sunday, since he's now pitched in four straight games.
This all sounds great, and it's certainly nice to win any time, and start to put together a little winning streak. But the Cubs should have had a lot more than five runs in this game. They left 16 (yes, sixteen) men on base -- the record for a nine-inning game is 18 -- and went 3-for-18 with RISP. 11 hits and nine walks (three of the walks intentional) should generate a lot more than five runs. At one point Anthony Rizzo nearly got himself picked off first base; only a bad throw by Mets (and former Cubs) catcher Anthony Recker kept Rizzo safe at first. It wasn't a good offensive show despite the five runs. The game dragged on for three hours and 32 minutes, mostly because of the walks; Mets pitchers threw 178 pitches, while the Cubs hurlers chimed in with 149.
Nevertheless, a win, as they say, is a win. The Cubs will go for their first three-game sweep of the season with Matt Garza on the mound Sunday afternoon to face the Mets' Jeremy Hefner.