Weirdly effective weekend for starting pitching. With the exception of a run from James Russell Sunday, the bullpen was lights out throughout. Travis Wood only gave up 3 hits over 7 innings, and looks way better when he's not terrified of the Wrigley jet stream. And how many glorious wins did we snatch from these fortuitous circumstances? Zip.
The offense wasn't just bad - it was horrendous. Matt Cain didn't look to be in trouble for the 8 innings he pitched Saturday. Worse, Barry Zito - he of the 17 losses in 2008, the guy who was left off the Giants playoff roster in 2010 - damn near pitched a complete game. Starlin Castro went 2-11 with 6 strikeouts. Steve Clevenger did a very passable Geovany Soto impression (0-7) before being lifted for the ever-dependable godawful hitting of Koyie Hill and his .167 OBP on Sunday.
Bad weekend all around, unless you're a big, impartisan fan of pitching. That's 10 road losses in a row now.
- The throwback uniforms from Saturday looked as awesome as they did uncomfortably hot.
- Garza finally looked back in form, which of course means that we tacked another loss onto his record. The Cubs have one of the more dependable rotations in baseball, and if we look away from the burning compost pile that's Chris Volstad, the Demp/Garza/Samardzija/Maholm/Wood rotation has a 11-16 record. If you include Volstad, who mostly earned his losses in a delightfully combustible solo fashion, it jumps to 11-22.
- Starlin Castro in the 3-hole does not seem like the greatest idea to me. He may be a natural hitter, but he's not a power guy, and the splits show pretty clearly that he starts reaching when he's placed in that spot. Remember when we had Derrek Lee in the 3-hole and everyone took him for granted? You former Micah Hoffpauir advocates best be enjoying the Jeff Baker Show.
- Fear not, we can still avoid the sweep. Today the Snork gets a chance to salvage a game against Ryan Vogelsong. He's got a sub-3 ERA, so I'm sure we'll take some good cuts before grounding out to Ryan Damn Theriot.