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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.
CC Sabathia (8-4), 3.28 ERA makes his second career start at Wrigley Field Sunday night.
He’s (1-2), 5.76 ERA in four starts against the Cubs. Overall, however, he’s (17-7), 3.57 ERA in 38 career interleague starts, including (8-1), 2.78 ERA over his last 12. Dominate.
Sabathia marks the fourth former Cy Young Award to face the Cubs in the last 10 days…Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke.
*Cubs with success against CC:
Alfonso Soriano: 12-for-36, 5HR
Reed Johnson: 9-for-30
Aramis Ramirez: 7-for-16
*Cubs have issued a MLB-worst 280 walks this season. The Yankees had a season-best 10 free passes on Saturday–six from Ryan Dempster.
New York leads baseball with 103 home runs…but they’ve failed to homer in three consecutive games, its longest drought this season.
*Starlin Castro is 4-for-8 in this series hitting .415 with eight doubles in his last 10 games.
I asked the Cubs a favor on Monday. Friday they delivered with a 3-1 win against New York.
This series, in particular, will be remembered for years. And it could be one of the few good memories for Cubs fans to remember this season by.
With such a dreadful first half, the Cubs owe us a good showing vs. the Yanks. Friday was the perfect start, literally from Doug Davis.
Cubs faithful showed up with the largest home attendance this year. The Cubs fed off the energy, and the next two games will be sold out as well.
Taking two of three would go a long ways towards reshaping the sour feeling about the Cubs. Quade will get some breathing room, and maybe, just maybe, the Cubs can carry the momentum of a series win against Milwaukee and New York for one last run before the All Star break.
If there’s such a thing as an MVP for a (27-40) team, Darwin Barney is the Cubs’ man.
Comcast Sportsnet analyst Todd Hollandsworth agrees mentioning Barney as the Cubs’ best player through the first half of the season.
Of course, it’s only fitting the second baseman hit the 15-day DL Wednesday with a sprained left knee. But with a quick recovery expected, Barney could be back in the Cubs lineup by next week and again chasing the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Barney’s contributions include:
A .317 average with RISP.
A .385 average leading off an inning.
A .313 average with none on base.
A .296 average over his last 58 games…
Here’s a clip below from Tom Skilling’s post on the ChicagoWeatherCenter blog.
You’ve said that humid air is less dense than dry air. A recent article states pitchers like high humidity. Is that contradictory?
Thanks, David Labotka
Not really. With all factors equal, moist air is less dense than dry air because water (18) has a lower molecular weight than nitrogen (28) and oxygen (32).
Since lower air density offers less resistance to the flight of a baseball, the ball will travel farther when humidity is higher—advantage hitter.
However, when it’s humid out, a baseball absorbs moisture making it less bouncy which translates to about a three foot decrease in travel for each 10 percent increase in humidity.
Additionally a moist ball gives pitchers a better grip resulting in more ball spin—advantage pitcher.
The number of home runs hit in Denver has decreased since the Colorado Rockies began storing their baseballs in a humidor back in 2002.
Brewers fans can’t be happy.
Despite dominating starting pitching through the first two games of this series, Milwaukee has nothing to show for it except two heart-breaking losses against the lowly Cubs.
And this comes on the heels of sweeping St. Louis to take over the NL Central lead. Painful if you’re a Brewers backer.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have made it two in-a-row, albeit ugly wins, but two straight nonetheless.
Chicago remains the lone team in MLB without three straight wins. Maybe they get off the schnide tomorrow night!
I talked about it yesterday…Chicago is still playing hard under Mike Quade. Not to be denied from a stellar outing by Yovani Gallardo, the Cubs battled back for a walk-off win…the first of Castro’s young career!
The one thing I took from the Cubs’ 1-0 win against division leading Milwaukee Monday night was the team’s collective effort to win.
Ryan Dempster pitched like an ace. The bullpen did its job and Pena was clutch off the bench.
We haven’t seen that kind of team effort enough this season, which certainly helps explain the Cubs’ second worst record in the NL.
But Chicago scratching and clawing its way to victory reminded me of the way this team played under Mike Quade last September–with passion, with desire, with purpose.
It shows the Cubs are still willing to fight for its manager despite a terrible record highlighted by the recent 2-8 road trip. And it shows the effort to win is still present even when all is seemingly lost.
The curious part, however, is that the Cubs have thrived under Quade when all the pressure is off. So what gives when the pressure is on?