The thing I and many will remember most of this series is the day Stacey King messed up the 7th inning stretch. "it's 1,2,3 for the Cubbies" What did he just say? Stacey it's root root root for the Cubbies. The reason this is better then all the other people who have sung awful or messed up the words was Stacey was running his mouth as his usually does before the game saying there is no way he was going to screw this up. Sadly there isn't a lot of great video of it but you definitely hear it in the video below.
Game 1 Cubs (2-2) win 4-1
It took till the 4th game of the season for a Cubs starter to get a win. This was just a weird game. Randy Wells pitched 6 innings giving up 6 hits, walking 4 and 1 run while striking out 6. Nice and solid but then it got weird. In the 7th manager Mike Quade used 3 pitchers to get 3 outs. All three were effective and combined face 4 batters. Marshall started off and got his guy out then Mateo came in and gave up a hit before getting the second out and then John Grabow came in to finish off the inning. Then he used Kerry Wood in the 8th and Carlos Marmol in the 9th to close it out. For Wood and Marmol it was the third straight day of work making them unavailable for the second game of the series. Soriano again was big with the bat hitting a solo homer and then adding knocking in the 4th run in the 8th.
Game 2 Cubs (3-2) win 6-5
The debut of Andrew Cashner as a starting pitcher and he was impressive. First six came up and he retired them straight through. Besides a lead off home run to start the 3rd the kid was very good. Had 2 strikeouts and 1 walk before the trainer came out to see him with one out in the 6th and that is going to be the last we see of the promising young kid but more on that later. Without Wood and Marmol the bullpen struggled and cost the kid the win by allowing Arizona to tie up the game in the 7th. Thankfully the bats weren't done the northsiders recaptured the lead and Tyler Colvin who started for the first time at 1st base allowed the insurance run to score when he drew a bases loaded walk. James Russell ended up getting the win and Sean Marshall got the call in the 9th and recorded his first save of the season. Colvin ended up with 3 RBI's including his first home run of the year. Tyler started at first in place of Carlos Pena who left game 1 with a sprained thumb.
Game 3 Cubs (3-3) lose 6-4
They had already clinched their first series win and were going for the sweep on Wednesday with their opening day starter, Ryan Dempster, back on the mound but it wasn't to me. Dempster continued to struggle giving up 5 runs, four earned. The unearned run came on an error by Soriano in the third allowing Chris Young to score. Ramirez hit his first homer and Soriano added his third but it wasn't enough as the Cubs played very sloppy. Besides Soriano both Soto and Dewitt also had errors. Chris Young was a terror for the northsiders as he benefitted from two of the errors, scoring on Soriano's and advancing from second to third on Soto's which also scored a run.
In Dempster's first two starts he has given up 16 hits, 11 runs, 4 walks and has struck out 13 in 13.2 innings of work. All those numbers you can live with except the runs. His ERA is currently 6.59 to go along with his 0-2 record. With the hit the Cubs rotation hit during this series he has to be better if the Cubs intend to stay competitive in the NL Central.
What has been lost
40% of the starting rotation is out for at least the next month. Everyone expected it with Cashner since we saw him leave the game but I was shocked when I heard Randy Wells was joining him on the DL. Manager MIke Quade said neither of the young pitchers will touch a baseball for 2 weeks and he doesn't expect to see them back with the big club for 3-4 weeks. By many reports that might be true for Wells but many have since stated they Cashner might not be back for 6 weeks. Wells has a strained right forearm while Cashner is out with a rotator cuff strain. Am I the only one questioning both of this injuries as possibly something much more serious? See this is what the Wood & Prior days have done to me. I expect to rant on this more later. James Russell is expected to take the place of Cashner while they have recalled Jeff Stevens to replace him in the bullpen. Casey Coleman is getting the nod to replace Wells and will start the series finale against the Brewers on Sunday.
The Cubs will travel to Milwaukee, Houston and Colorado on this 9 game road trip before returning home to face the Padres.