Sunday evening was the ideal atmosphere at Wrigley. Great weather, packed house, and the chance for Chicago to win a big series.
Through six innings it was an ideal game too. Game tied 4-4, the Cubs hanging around against CC Sabathia…victory still within reach.
Then the Cubs’ biggest weakness showed up…a middle relief corps no where near the talent level of the Yankees…or the rest of the league for that matter.
You hope Chris Carpenter learned a lesson after serving up a monster blast to Nick Swisher, a game-changing three-run shot to right in the eighth. A great heater means little in the bigs if you can’t locate…and fall behind in the count. Lesson learned?
James Russell left the ball up and was torched. Even Sean Marshall struggled. And when Rodrigo Lopez trots out to the mound, well…that says a lot about your middle relief.
On the bright side…Soriano continued his success against Sabathia, a three-run shot putting the Cubs up 4-1 in the third. Soriano is now 13-for-39 with 6HR vs. CC in his career.
Aramis had a four-hit night and Reed Johnson added two more hits raising his average to .359.
But youthful mistakes by the bullpen cost the Cubs late. And while it’s good experience for these young arms, the price of doing business this way is high…as in, a high loss total.
Such is the case for the Cubs in 2011.