April 7th Game’s Results and Analysis
Atlanta Braves 5 - Chicago Cubs 1
Winning Pitcher: Hudson (1-0) Losing Pitcher: Samardzija (1-1)
Player of the Game: Tim Hudson
The Chicago Cubs couldn’t avoid getting swept by the red hot Atlanta Braves. The Cubbies jumped on Tim Hudson early in the first inning and had the lead until the 5th inning. DeJesus hit his second double on the year off Hudson in the 1st and scored on a Rizzo groundout, but after that the Cubs never crossed the plate. Hudson went 6.2 innings allowing one run and striking out seven. Hudson was the player of the game because he settled down after the first and had his way with the Chicago hitters, but it can be argued that B.J. Upton was player of the game because he put in his best performance in a Braves uniform.
Impressive: Jeff Samardzija’s first four innings were impressive and so was his total number of strikeouts in the game. Samardzija looked unhittable in the first four innings even though he was a little wild at times and he pitched four scoreless innings against a great hitting lineup. Another thing that was impressive about Samardzija’s outing was that he struck out Justin Upton three times in the game, which caused Upton to end the game with four K’s. Also, it was impressive that Samardzija had a total of 13 strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Surprising: Now that I explained what was great about Samardzija’s pitching performance, I can explain the struggles that he encountered in the game today. Samardzija had difficulty in the 5th and that led to the Braves scoring a run in the 5th by a double by Ramiro Pena. The run scored by the Braves was followed by a walk to Tim Hudson, which looked like Samardzija was trying to overthrow each pitch trying to get an out. After that walk Samardzija followed up with another walk to B.J. Upton and Samardzija had two wild pitches during Upton’s at bat which led to the score by Pena. After the 5th inning it was tied at one a piece, but there wouldn’t be a tie for that long because Samardzija struggled in the 6th. Samardzija gave up 3 runs in the 6th, which blew the door open for the Braves. Samardzija got hit hard in the 6th therefore the Cubs had to take him out and replace him with Michael Bowden. However, Bowden gave up a hit to Tim Hudson who was the first batter that he faced and that hit scored a run. Another surprising thing that happened to the Cubbies today was that they announced that closer Carlos Marmol was no longer the closer for the Cubs and that they will go with Kyuji Fujikawa as their closer. I found this surprising because Fujikawa is coming off a poor outing, which can be argued as the reason why the Cubs lost yesterday. Also, it’s surprising because the Cubs hurt their trade value that they can get for Marmol by dismissing him as the closer.
Concerning: I’m concerned with how Samardzija pitched today; I thought it was an impressive loss, yes I know no loss can be impressive, but Samardzija just got a little unlucky in the 6th. The thing that I’m concerned with is the Cubs bats not having enough pop and discipline to comeback in games that they are losing. I just I feel like if the Cubs fall down quickly on the scoreboard that they won’t be able to make a comeback. Until the Cubs hitters can make a comeback on a team, they’re not going to have the confidence to be able to win games that they are losing. I believe that Cubbies just need one or two more batters that can regularly hit the ball and are a threat at the plate.