Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cubs Look To Youth To Spark Team

In 1998, the Chicago Cubs called up prized pitching prospect Kerry Wood to help jump-start the team. On May 6th, Wood, only 20 years old, struck out 20 Houston Astros on his way to winning the rookie of the year and helping the Cubs to the Wild-Card in that 1998 season. On May 7th, 12 years and a day after that lights out pitching performance, the Cubs called up another 20 year-old top prospect, this time SS Starlin Castro to hopefully help spark the offense. Spark the offense he did.

Castro tagged a 3-run homer in his first Major League AB and followed that up with a bases loaded triple in his 3rd AB to help push the Cubs to a 14-7 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. Castro's 6 RBI set a MLB record for most in a major league debut and helped make Cubs fans wonder 1. Why he wasn't up sooner? and 2. Can he play 3B as well?

The celebration of the debut of Castro would be short lived as Castro didn't get 6 more RBIs in his second game, just a meager double as the Cubs fell to the Reds 14-2 Saturday night. The 14-2 loss is a bit decieving, as it was 3-2 until the 7th inning. At that point, the Reds blew it wide open against the awful Cubs bullpen, scoring 11 runs in two innings.

Sunday was the final chance for the Cubs to salvage a bit of the road trip after getting swept in Pittsburgh and get some revenge against Mike Leake, who shut down the Cubs pretty well in his debut on April 11th. The Cubs finally got to Leake in 7th as Tyler Colvin hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 7th to help erase a 2-run defecit and stake Ryan Dempster to a 3-2 lead. The lead wouldn't last long as in the bottom of the 7th, the Reds had runners on 1st and 3rd, 2 outs and Cubs killer Joey Votto coming to the plate. Sean Marshall was ready to go in the bullpen and Lou Pinella headed to mound to talk to Ryan Dempster and see if he wanted to continue. Despite having thrown a 111 pitches to that point, Dempster convinced Pinella to keep him in a Dempster rewarded Lou by giving up a 3-run homer to Votto, sending the Cubs back home with a 1-5 road trip and the Marlins coming to town Monday night.

Dempster after the game said to lay the blame on him, not Lou as Dempster had convinced him that he was ready to get Votto. Thing is, Pinella is the manager and he needs to make those decisions, because ultimately, he's the one responsible for this team and this season if it continues to head South like it is. Something tells me that Lou won't be finishing this season as the man in charge. 

No comments: