I’m not gonna lie to you guys. It was bad out there.
Matt Garza was mostly sharp for the first five innings, but two two-run mistakes early on meant the Cubs were never really in this thing. It only got messier after Garza left. The final tally was 9-1 Marlins.
Mark Buehrle absolutely shut down the Cubs today, giving up only six hits. Jeff Baker, resident lefty-masher, got the start and had a two-hit day, leading off the seventh inning with a double and then scoring the Cubs’ only run on a groundout.
Chicago had a couple of chances earlier in the game. Barney and Castro led off the fourth with back-to-back singles, but never advanced any further. Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd actually reached base today; Soto reached on an error by Hanley Ramirez, and Byrd actually broke his slump with a single to center.
Garza tried to bunt them over, but good lord is he bad at everything that isn’t pitching. The throw went to third, retiring Soto, and nobody else went anywhere.
But pitching… Garza is still really good at that, despite what his line tonight will tell you. He located his fastball well and racked up seven strikeouts over five-plus innings. Honestly, it was a thing of beauty for a while there.
Garza made two mistakes and ended up with a pair of two-run homers. One was to Donnie Murphy, continuing the string of “no, really, who are these guys” moments. The other, a good slider, qualifies less as a “mistake” and more of a “Hanley Ramirez is really good at baseball.” But at least we got to look at that blinky splashy thing a bunch more, right?
It all fell apart in the sixth inning. Garza gave up a walk and a double for another run, and was lifted without recording an out. Lendy Castillo came in, followed later by Rodrigo Lopez, and I really don’t think you need me to tell you what happened there. Well, except for this tidbit, which I doubt you would have guessed: Buehrle singled off of Castillo for his third career RBI.
Tomorrow Jeff Samardzija, who is apparently the cure for sweeps, will take the mound against Ricky Nolasco at 11:40am (for real?) on WGN. Come, join me in watching his heroic flowing locks save us from complete despair.