The Chicago Cubs beat the Florida Marlins last night 5-1. The Cubs’ victory was significant because it was their first series win of the season. Pitcher Casey Coleman (2-3, ERA 6.03) pitched a great game. While that is always a good thing, it meant even more to the Cubs since Coleman is “filling in” for the starting rotation.
David Villavicienco has posted an article at the MLB.com website titled “Coleman, timely knocks carry Cubs to victory.”
Once again, Marlon Byrd hit a home run. This time it came with a man on board.
Ever since Chicago lost two of its starting pitchers to injury, the team has been struggling. The Cubs are currently in fifth place, but now just three games under .500. Just a couple of days ago, they sat at five games under the break-even mark.
What has been the difference? In a word, “everything” has changed.
Obviously the Cubs have had some reliable pitching in the last two games. While the defense has always been there, it has been stellar recently. Most importantly, Chicago’s hitting has started to wake up. It is difficult to have a solid offense when the weather is consistently cold and rainy.
The idea in building the current offense was to have some long-ball capabilities. Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Starlin Castro, and Aramis Ramirez were expected to flourish with the addition of Carlos Pena. Cubs fans are just starting to see a glimmer of that possibility. Hopefully summer weather will help.
This is the first time in a long time where the Cubs have taken the lead first, kept the lead and finished the game without ever relinquishing the lead. In other words, this is the first time in a long time they have dominated.
While Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade was proud of the performance of Coleman, on the other side of the ball, Marlins manager Edwin Rodrguez thought his team’s poor batting had more to do with their loss than Coleman’s brilliance. He was quoted in the reference article as saying, “He was just throwing his secondary pitches for strikes, and we were swinging at bad pitches.”
Usually when a pitcher is “on,” that is exactly what happens: batters chase their second-rate stuff.
The Cubs are headed to Boston to a historic meeting with the Red Sox.
MLB.com Website, David Villavicencio, “Coleman, timely knocks carry Cubs to victory”
MLB.com Website, “Casey Coleman Statistics”
MLB.com Website, “Byrd’s two-run blast”