I didn’t have high expectations for Casey Coleman entering Monday’s game against the division leading Brewers.
But he easily pitched his best game of the year tossing 6 innings of 1 run, 2 hit baseball with a career-high 8 punchouts against a very tough Milwaukee lineup.
It must be a huge confidence booster for the 24-year-old considering he hadn’t won a game with the Cubs in four months and entered Monday’s contest with an unsightly 7.08 ERA.
One solid start doesn’t make a season, but for Coleman, it buys him another start to prove he’s of major league caliber on the mound.
The next obvious step is showing consistency to string together quality starts, which thus far, he’s failed miserably to do so.
Let me be the first to welcome Geovany Soto back to the Cubs’ offensive attack. His multi-homer game on Monday, including the Cubs first HR of the season onto Waveland Ave, gives him three HR over his last four games.
That’s a far cry from his 0-for-25 skid in late August which dropped his average below .220 and caused Mike Quade to replace him in the lineup with the weaker hitting Koyie Hill–never a good sign for any position player.
Soto, however, remains an interesting question mark with his 1yr,$3M dollar deal set to expire this offseason. He’ll certainly be seeking a multi-year deal, and the Cubs must decide if Soto will remain the future fixture behind the plate.
Right now I’m not convinced Soto is, especially given the Cubs bright catching prospects in the minor leagues. But we’ll see if the new GM agrees with me or not.
Sean Marshall has an ERA less than 1.00 over his last 30 games. As Pat Hughes mentioned on WGN Monday night, Marshall has been the most consistent Cub, including position players, all season.
Marshall (6-6, 2.34 ERA) has already set the Cubs single-season record with 31 Holds. He’s also held opponents scoreless in 62 of 74 outings while allowing just 17 walks vs. 76 strikeouts.
So is Marshall the Cubs 2011 MVP? You tell me.