If you haven’t heard season is over Cubs lost to Cards 4-3
The sense to some of these headlines I’ve already seen after one game is baffling. The Cubs played a really tough home opener capped by outstanding pitching by the Cardinals. Carlos Martinez pitched like a man possessed last night. He struck out ten Cubs yesterday before the bullpen nearly blew the game. The powerful rightly touched 100 on the gun several times. He blew pitches by Kris Bryant getting him to strike out three times. The only time he even got close was popping the ball up with the bases loaded and the same came for Rizzo. With Tony’s one hit the duo went 1 for 8 with four strikeouts.
“He was outstanding,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Martinez. “He had good stuff at the very beginning. He has as good of a right-handed arm as any in the league.”
Game got interesting during the rain
The Cubs bats were damn quiet until the Cards brought in their bullpen. I’ll look for them to be blowing games again all over the place, even though the Cub’s bullpen didn’t look particularly good either. It started to rain pretty hard late in the game giving reporters the chance to give the nod to the world series game where it did the same. It’s like they couldn’t help themselves. They were waiting on cue to ask the major players of the Cubs about memories of game 7. That didn’t really matter in this game though until Wilson Contreras smoked a three-run homer to make this game interesting. It tied up the game at three a piece.
— LeadingMLB ™ (@LeadingMLB) April 3, 2017
Right now there is just nothing else you can say about the importance of Contreras to this roster. A power hitting catcher is something that very few team have on their roster. Especially one that is good at defense too. The relationship between Willson and Lester hopefully is what we are all waiting to see.
I’m not going to say I’m worried but I’m a little worried. The Cub’s bullpen wasn’t great during spring training but I chalked it up to them working on pitches. They were giving up runs late in games which are never good. But this mix of Strop and Montgomery might be a problem if Wade Davis isn’t Wade Davis in the closer spot. I think getting Davis a rhythm is very important. If we have the bullpen before him losing leads late in games then he will never get it. Bad pitches by Strop is what led to the loss of this one. The 0-2 beachball he served up for the home run needs to have been a slider in the dirt. Maybe it’s catchers fault or maybe he just missed his spot we will see but Madden had a good take on the bullpen.
“It takes about a month to really feel good about where you are with your bullpen,” he said before the game. “The difference is I know a lot of these guys from the past. However, guys fluctuate on an annual basis. It’ll take a solid month to figure out what we got and how to apply them.”
The biggest bright spot we can take after the first game of the season is Kyle Schwarber. I almost feel bad for this guy for the amount of heat he is going to get all season. There are people out there that are going to think his season is a complete failure if he doesn’t hit .275 with 40 home runs. He did a great job coming in his first appearance batting leadoff getting on base three times. That’s all we need of him. Kyle just needs to get on base a lot and the cubs will make another deep playoff run.