Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
I Gotcher Silver Lining Right Here!
by Derek Smart
No, it wasn't a happy day at the balpark, but there were still some things to build on.
Ted Lilly was actually useful for most of his start, although it's difficult to say how much of that was him, and how much was the relative impatience of the Reds in the early going. However, he did have his velocity nearer to acceptable ranges, according to what's on Gameday, so that's something to feel positive about.
That said, I'm not going to start relaxing until I see Ted have six or seven solid innings in at least two consecutive games. He's very clearly the guy the club is counting on to be their Number 2, and if he doesn't at least approach that billing as the season goes on, there's going to be trouble ahead.
The Cubs didn't do much against Edinson Volquez, but even so, I'm extremely happy with the way they went about their business. When there's a guy on the hill that you can't get your hits off of, better to make him throw a lot and either give you chances to cash in on the one or two mistakes he might make - hopefully with men on the sacks who have received their free passes - or failing that, get his pitch count high enough to force him out early.
The Cubs did just that, getting their walks, and making Volquez sit after throwing 112 pitches over just five innings. Unfortunately, they didn't capitalize on the opportunity - and, frankly, the Cubs own staff didn't give the offense much of a shot at relevancy, anyway - but they did what was necessary to create that opportunity in the first place, and more often than not, when you give yourself a shot at four innings of the opposition's bullpen, you're going to make good things happen.
I can't think of a third positive thing. It just feels lame only having two bullets.
It's the Bucs in town this afternoon, looking for revenge, and they've got a helluva shot with Ian Snell taking the bump for them, and the still struggling Rich Hill serving as the punching bag for the day. Here's hoping that after spewing the sunshine up top, that this little bout of negativity will balance things out for the good and net a victory this afternoon.
Amazing, isn't it, that after all these years of telling myself that my actions don't affect the outcome of games, I still have to mix in some slag because, in my head, when I start expecting good, that's when it goes bad. Aw, screw it.