The Chicago Cubs offense was once again not alive, only scoring 1 run in a losing defeat to the Atlanta Braves in the series opener. Manager Dale Sveum experiment of the righty heavy line-up against lefties should be put to rest already. Sveum tried it in the 2nd game of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cubs were shutout. Sveum tried it again and the Cubs scored one run and could barely get on base. The Cubs are back at .500 with a 2-2 record.
Winning pitcher: Mike Minor (1-0) – Losing pitcher: Scott Feldman (0-1) – Save: Craig Kimbrel (2)
Braves first: Justin Upton hit a line drive shot over the left field wall for a solo home run; Braves 1 – Cubs 0
Braves third: Justin Upton hits a sacrifice fly to right field, driving home Andrelton Simmons; Braves 2 – Cubs 0
Cubs fifth: Scott Hairston hits a solo home run to right field; Braves 2 – Cubs 1
Braves fifth: Juan Francisco hits a 2-run single to left field, driving home Jason Heyward and BJ Upton; Braves 4 – Cubs 1
Final: Braves 4 – Cubs 1
The good: Scott Hairston hit his first home run in a Cubs uniform. Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon were the two guys are of the ‘pen to come in and were great … pitching 3 innings, giving up 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks and struck out 5.
The bad: The Cubs offense is so bad right now that it’s aggravating. I knew the line-up wasn’t great going into the season, but the stars Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano are not getting hits and getting on base. It’s still early and I do look for that to change soon. Like I already said, the line-up vs. lefties is very bad and I hope we don’t see it again or in a very long time. How likely is that? Probably not too likely.
The ugly: Scott Feldman did not look good in spring and he continue his bad efforts in today’s game. Feldman pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks and struck out 1. The walks are very bad and when you walk that many, you don’t win many games. Feldman also had a couple wild pitches and the runners could steal all day on him. He wasn’t paying much attention to the baserunners and that hurt him as well.
Note: Matt Garza is in Atlanta and will continue throwing off the mound. Garza told the media before the game that he’s looking at a mid-May return.
The Cubs will play the Braves tomorrow in the 2nd game of the series . Carlos Villanueva will make his Cubs debut and will take on Julio Teheran at 6:10 p.m. central. The Cubs will air on WGN and can be heard on WGN Radio.