The Cubs and Cards square off in Game 2 of the big weekend series at Wrigley Field today. Carlos Silva looks to go 7-0, while the Cubs bats must figure 1st time major league start Adam Ottavino.
The Cubs have already blown 1 scoring chance. After Mike Fontenot tripled with 1 out in the 2nd inning, the bottom part of the Cubs order could not bring him home. Starlin Castro grounded out to 2nd base and Koyie Hill lined out to center field to end the threat. Fortunately, Carlos Silva appears to have brought his A-game. He has pitched 3 scoreless innings while striking out 7 of the first 10 batters he has faced. He gave up a lone single to Matt Holliday to lead off the 2nd inning.
In Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Cards, Randy Wells had his worst start ever as a major league pitcher. He faced 6 batters and did not record a single out. All 6 hitters reached base with hits and the Card scored 5 runs in that dreadful, game-changing first inning. It was the 1st time a Cubs starter did not record an out in his game since Jeremy Gonzalez did so back in 1998. James Russell came in and ended the threat and actually pitched great in a tough situation. Russell ended up going a career-high 4 innings of scoreless ball giving up just 2 hits and a walk. He single-handedly kept the Cubs in the game and earned some great respect and praise from Manager Lou Pinella so did not have to go the bullpen too often. The rest of the bullpen (save for John Grabow who gave up a 2-run HR in his 1 inning of work) also did a great job – Bob Howry 1 scoreless inning; Jeff Stevens 2 scoreless innings and Big Z 1 scoreless inning. If the Cubs had talen advantage of some earlier scoring chances against Cards’ starter Chris Carpenter, they may have had a chance to win.
Oh well — let’s hope the Cubs bats come to life in this afternoon’s game.