The Hawk weighs in...finally
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??