April 16th Game’s Results and Analysis
Texas Rangers 4 - Chicago Cubs 2
Winning Pitcher: Holland (1-1) Losing Pitcher: Wood (1-1)
Save by Nathan (5)
Player of the Game: Derek Holland
The Chicago Cubs lost their first interleague ball game of the year with a score of 4 to 2. The Cubbies just didn’t manufacture enough runs to pull out the victory; however they did make the game interesting as they had the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood pitched a great game, which I will detail later, but was just outshined by player of the game, Derek Holland. Because Holland is a left-handed pitcher, he offered the Cubs a tough task because they tend to do terribly against LHPs. The Rangers starter went seven scoreless innings with 6 punch outs and allowed two hits in the game. The ex-Cub Jeff Baker had a great game and had a RBI double in the game that gave the Rangers the lead in the 4th inning. The Rangers scored the rest of their runs in the top of the 8th. The Cubbies only scored two runs and both came in the bottom of 9th off a double by pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz.
Impressive: What impressed me in today’s game was Travis Wood’s outing. Wood deserved to get a victory in this game because of how well he performed in it. Wood went 7.1 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Travis Wood also struck out 3 Rangers in the game. The Cubs are getting some great outings by the starting pitchers and all those outings should be wins if the Cubbies could have just scored some more runs. If the starting pitchers can keep up with how well they have started off the year then the Cubbies will be hard to beat and can possibly have an impact in the division.
Surprising: I was surprised with the Cubs comeback in the ninth and it showed signs that they can be a threat in late innings. The Cubs got all of their base runners on in the ninth with two outs. However, the Cubs left the bases loaded in the ninth and would come out with a loss in their first game against the Rangers in the series. I’m also surprised by the recent transactions by the Cubs; the Cubbies just recently claimed veteran infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the San Diego Padres and the Cubs placed both Kameron Loe and Kevin Gregg in their 25 man roster. I was surprised about the Ransom move because the Cubs have Alberto Gonzalez, who has been performing well for the Cubs and they have infielder Donnie Murphy in the minors. I wasn’t as surprised to see Loe on the majors roster, but I was shocked to see Gregg because he really hasn’t pitched this year yet. I thought maybe he would pitch in some minor league games before being in the bullpen for the Cubbies.
Concerning: I’m really concerned with the bullpen for the Cubs because the bullpen is just not reliable. Shawn Camp has been getting rocked whenever he gets out on the mound and it could be argued that the homerun that he gave up to Adrian Beltre cost the game for the Cubs. If the Cubs can’t find a reliable arm out of the pen then the Cubs shouldn’t expect to win many games this year. Another concern of mine is the Cubs lineup against left-handed pitchers due to the fact that the Cubs just have a difficult time scoring runs when they face a lefty. I want to see Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus in the lineup when there is LHP on the mound because I strongly believe they can produce for the Cubs and they couldn’t do much worse than what Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston have done so far this season.