Padres 26-20, clinch series
POTG: 2B Mark Derosa (4 H, 2B, 3B, RBI)
Runner Up: RF Matt Murton (2B, R, BB), SP Sean Marshall (7 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K)
I’m convinced, watching the this team and looking athte box scores thie next day, the Cubs are missing some power in the lineup, and that’s the tipping point – that’s the reason the above average pitching and above average hitting hasn’t lead to an above average record. The thing is, while certain individuals haven’t been hitting as well as advertised, there’s no numbers I can come up to say that team is even below average in slugging, much less poor.
Cubs.com’s recap points out the runners in scoring position average looks good – 40 points better than the better than the Brewers. The much questioned defense is actually the second best at turning balls in play into outs according to Baseball Prospectus’ metrics. There seems a lot of shards of information indicating good things about this team in pieces, but for some reason, the sum of the team is actually less than it’s parts.
There are times where you can blame it all on the bullpen, but this was quite obviously not one of those games. Sean Marshall looked great, completely fooling batters on multiple occasions, and it was just one bad pitch (or maybe leaving him out there long enough for one bad pitch) that changed the game. Reading the post game talk, it sounds like they changed strategy on Kozumanoff, trying to use a breaking ball to start a double play, rather harder stuff they’d been using on him. The pitch got up, and then it go out, and then it was pretty much over from there.
Cesar’s probably the least valuable player of the game, because of the 7th inning double play, but it’s not as though the middle of the order was doing much tonight. The 8th inning was disappointing; once Soriano took second and Pagan struck out, that was the end of Lee getting a chance to hit, and Ram just had a bad game.
At least we’ve gotten a very positive sign from Marshall out of this. Hopefully Marquis can prevent the sweep.