Friday, April 29

The Hawk weighs in...finally

ESPN Boxscore

I had the pleasure of watching this one from beginning to end. With all the hype surrounding it, I figured I’d use it for my first LB post. Here goes…

Things didn’t look good early as Clemens made short work of Hairston, Perez and Patterson. Also, Maddux got off to a shaky start throwing over twenty pitches in the first and giving up one run. At this point, I was thinking he would be lucky to last six innings (I’d love to see our starters going at least 7 but it doesn’t looks like it’s going to happen on a regular basis).

The Cubbies had Clemens’ number in the second with Burnitz and Hollandsworth each driving in a run giving the cubs the lead. Clemens retaliated in the bottom of the second with a single the ‘stros were unable to get any real offense together. Even though the Cubbies took the lead in the top of the second, the inning could have been so much more. The cubs had runners on second and third with no outs and failed to bring either runner home.

There wasn’t a whole lot of excitement from the third on (save for Burnitz hitting the game winning dinger in the 7th) as the pitching duel picked up so I’ll spare you my inning by inning thoughts and go straight to the pro/con breakdown.

Pros: Offense offense offense. This is a welcome change from last year. Who thought after losing Sosa and Alou that the Cubs’ offense would actually be more productive. The Cubs are leading the NL with 29 Homers have had at least ten hits in each of the last four games. Pretty sick production. Also, Lee extends his hitting streak to 11 games (22 hits in those 11 games).

Novoa: Fresh off the Iowa Cubs and bringing heat (99 mph consistently). The big Dominican only worked 2/3 of an inning but I’m looking forward to seeing more of him as a set up man and our bullpen can definitely use a fresh arm.

Hawkins: That’s right, I’m putting him in the pro section. He protected a one run lead through the Ninth and got his fourth save of the year. Good stuff.

Cons: Base running. Clemens picked off Hairston in the 5th and Lee should have been picked off in the 8th but Springer made a bad throw. This is inexcusable in my opinion. Runners shouldn’t be picked off! Wake up!!

Other than the base running, I can’t find much to complain about. Patterson did go 0-4 but I’ll let that slid since he had the walk-off wednesday night.

Wrapping it up: Solid one run win for the cubs. Maddux technically won this “duel” but Clemens was the better performer he just doesn’t have any offense behind him.

So that’s my first Lingering Bursitis post…anyone care to comment??


At 11:52 PM, Blogger JT said...

Good stuff Hawk! Yeah, I was impressed with Hawk-ins too... threw 13 pitches in the 9th, struck out one and didn't allow a man on base. Well done, LaTroy... I had a feeling the Cubs would edge this given good career hitting against the Rocketman, especially Burnitz! Nice one Jeromy!

Also, I'd like to point out what might become a growing LB trend - earlier today I was griping to Hypo about the plight of Hollandsworth. Now, it must be said that up to this point, every time I have moaned about certain players, they have immediately picked up their game, and ol' Todd is no exception.

2-4, 2 Doubles, RBI! Todd, good stuff. It's good to see guys like him pick up the slack when Corey and Neifi are less than stellar.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Jim said...

It—work your magic on more hitters. Wood is likely to need a few more runs to gain a win than Maddox did.

Prior may need some help on Sunday, too. Oswalt has been a Cub killer in the past. And we need a winning streak to keep up with those stinking Cardinals. The wild card winner isn't likely to come out of the central division this year. Both the western division and the eastern division have too many strong teams.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Charlie said...

I have to agree that it is a relief to see Hawkins do well in... well, in relief. Novoa's stuff was pretty impressive too, and if Wuertz keeps throwing the way he has the Cubs will have themselves a nasty bullpen.
I do think that it's premature to start complaining about Patterson's performance though. Yes, 0-4 is not a good day, but maybe we should keep in mind that he was facing the Rocket, a 300 game winner who has strikeouts oozing out of every pore.
As for Hollandsworth and Burnitz, I couldn't be more pleased. Burnitz is absolutely hammering the ball, and though his techninque is killing my nerves, it's beautiful when he makes contact. And Hollandsworth is finally showing some patience at the plate. He's getting ahead in the count, and he's really starting to hit the ball hard. With Burnitz, Hollandsworth, and Lee all hitting, look for Ramirez and Barret to get a little more consistent.
Congratulations to Maddux. I don't care if Houston has had a comatose offense, it's still a good day when the cubs can beat the Rocket, and Maddux deserves some credit for giving the bullpen a lead to hold on to.
Heads up NL Central, Cubs are coming out swinging!

At 1:49 PM, Blogger JT said...

It was also good to see the bullpen quartet of Wuertz, Ohman, Novoa and Hawkins pitch 3 hitless innings, allowing 3 walks and notching up 4 strikeouts.


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