April18th Game’s Results and Analysis
Chicago Cubs 6 – Texas Rangers 2
Winning Pitcher: Villanueva (1-0) Losing Pitcher: Ogando (2-1)
Player of the Game: Luis Valbuena
The Chicago Cubs evened their series with Texas Rangers by putting up their best performance so far this year. The Cubs won the game by pitching great, getting timely hits and had solid innings from the bullpen. The Cubbies took the lead by a RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd by third baseman Luis Valbuena which scored Nate Schierholtz, who had a double in the inning. Then the Cubs exploded on the Rangers starting pitcher Ogando in the 3rd inning by scoring on a pass ball and two homers by Anthony Rizzo (his 4th of the year) and Alfonso Soriano (his first of the year and first RBI). Carlos Villanueva put in another great outing for the Cubbies and was rewarded with his first win of the year. However, Villanueva isn’t my player of the game even though he did pitch an amazing game, but what Luis Valbuena did at the plate and in the field he deserved to be the player of the game. Valbuena went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIS and a double; Valbuena worked the counts in his at bats and fielded his position perfectly in today’s game.
Impressive: The most impressive thing in today’s game was how well the whole team played. Carlos Villanueva was impressive, again, by going 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and only allowed 2 earned runs off two solo homeruns by the Rangers. Another impressive performance in today’s game was by catcher Welington Castillo who went 4 for 4 today with a double and scored a run. The last impressive thing about the Cubbies is their off-season moves this year; so far Carlos Villanueva is pitching amazing and Nate Schierholtz has been showing that he can be an everyday player.
Surprising: The most surprising thing in today’s game was Starlin Castro drawing two walks in the game. If you have watched Castro is his first couple of pro seasons you can tell that he is a free swinger who rarely walks. I believe if Castro can keep up his plate discipline that he has so far then he can arguably be the best hitting shortstop in the game. Another surprise in today’s game is the Cubs called Carlos Marmol in from the bullpen in the ninth. I know it wasn’t for a save but still the game was on the line, however Marmol has pitched well coming out of the pen since getting demoted from being the closer.
Concerning: There aren’t any concerns from today’s game because every Cub played well. I do have one concern with the Cubs, which would be the Cubs recent transactions for their bullpen. The Cubs added Kevin Gregg and Kameron Loe, who are both RHPs, to the bullpen, however to make this move they had to DFA Hisanori Takahashi who was a LHP. Now, the Cubbies only have one left-handed pitcher in their bullpen which could be a weakness for the Cubbies down the road.