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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.
Not much of anything has gone right for the Cubs this season, and Monday night looks to be no exception.
The Brewers come to town with the major’s best road record since August 5 (17-5) and are winners of three straight having swept Cincinnati over the weekend to trim its Magic No. to 4.They’ve also won six straight games against Chicago, badly outscoring the Cubs 23-12.
To make matter worse, Casey Coleman (2-8, 7.06 ERA) who hasn’t won in five starts, toes the rubber for Chicago. And the Brewers have flat worn this guy out in 2011.
Ryan Bruan is 7-for-10 vs. Coleman, including a HR and two doubles. Corey Hart is 5-for-7 with a HR against him. Then sandwich in Prince Fielder and Cubs-killer, Casey McGehee, and it appears to be another short night for Coleman, at least on paper.
If there’s a lone bright spot at all for the Cubs it’s seeing if Starlin Castro can extend his consecutive games streak of reaching base safely to 32.
Woody English had two such streaks as a Cubs SS dating way back to 1929, a 34-game run, and another the following season of 32 consecutive games in 1930.
Otherwise, I’d settle for just seeing the Cubs drive in a run with runners in scoring position. How’s that for finishing the season strong?
Casey Coleman wasn’t even on the Cubs radar in April.
Now he’s a candidate to make the 2011 starting rotation.
That’s a huge improvement from his humble beginning this August,
when the Cubs summoned Coleman from Triple-A Iowa.
In his first four relief outings with Chicago he posted an 8.64 ERA.
But a transition to the rotation sparked the 23-year-old.
Coleman is (3-0) with a 2.25 ERA through his last three starts, including seven scoreless innings in Friday’s 2-0 win against Houston.
He’s kept the ball down, limited his pitch count, and has pitched six or more innings in his last seven starts, seemingly improving each outing.
Although Coleman is basically an unknown, his success isn’t all that surprising.
Last year he earned the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award.
This year he posted a (10-7) record at Iowa, including two complete games, and was riding a four-game win streak before his call-up.
It’s time to get familiar with Casey Coleman. The kid can pitch, and there’s little doubt Coleman won’t be on the radar next spring.