What is it about these Pirates that the Cubs struggle with? Yesterday, the Pirates beat the Cubs 6-2. No matter what the Cubs hit at them, the Pirates caught. Jeff Samardzija wasn’t the same Shark he was on Opening Day.
“Today, they were patient with me and got some pitches to hit,” the right-hander said. “When I had success against them before, I felt I had them on their heels, whereas today, they had me on my heels. With a good team like that that’s playing good baseball, you have to make good pitches early in the count, early in the game, which allows you to pitch deeper in the game and not show them everything you have early.”
Then again, there wasn’t much offense. So, no matter what Samardzija could do, if the offense isn’t hitting the balls, the defense will find it hard to keep the game within reach.
You can almost say that in a game like hockey, a team can win a game purely on offense as long as their goalie saves the puck, but in baseball pretty much it’s a two way sport.
“When we’re not playing good, we make mistakes with the pitching, we don’t get a hit, we don’t play good defense,” Alfonso Soriano said. “That’s contagious. All negative, it’s contagious. When the team is playing good, it’s contagious, too. We have to learn to play good.
I could be wrong, but it’s an observation.
The Cubs are can’t play a defensive game against the Pirates or they’ll beat them hard. The Cubs bread and butter are the close games, but if want to win and beat them well, the Cubs need to score a lot of runs.
“They played perfectly,” Alfonso Soriano said. “(They were) always in the perfect spot.”
The other thing to look at is Starlin Castro. He’s going through a slump, a funk or some other voodoo thing. He’s got to shake it up and get swinging that bat. He had no hits yesterday. No hits? That’s gotta change today.
Which brings us to Edwin Jackson. He gets the rubber today against Jeff Locke. We all know that Edwin has been struggling this season, but if I were to gamble on someone today, I’m going to bet that Mr. Jackson is going to do some pretty incredible things on the mound. He’s got a brutal 6.29 ERA but I tell ya, today is going to be a great day for him. The sun is shining and he is due for a win.
Edwin if you’re reading this, I believe in you.
2:20 eastern start.