We’ll be a little simile-analogy-heavy here today on a beautiful day at Wrigley Field. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts wandered over to say a quick, and I do mean quick, hello to the gathered media on the field. But he looked like (Simile-Analogy No. 1 coming) like the guy who was double-parked with his motor running, so he didn’t stay long.
Well, it didn’t really help when colleague and Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey asked Tom what was wrong with his team. “Nothing,” Tom replied. “Just a lot of injuries. We’ll be fine.”
Like I said, the motor was running because Tom was soon on his way. Darn. Had a couple of follow-ups. You know, with the draft coming up, would the Cubs be spending a good amount of dough and all that. And I figured since Len and Bob got two or three innings out of Tom the other day, us friendly scribes and radio reporters could have gotten a few more minutes. Maybe next time. But it was nice of him to say hello. All the years the Trib owned the team, their owner never came by and said hey.
OK, here’s our second simile or analogy or piece of imagery. Doug Davis is pitching today, and watching him is kind of like watching a guy try to get ketchup out of the bottle. (It’s even worse if he’s trying to put ketchup on a hot dog.)
The Cubs haven’t fared so hot in games started by Davis, James Russell, Casey Coleman and Rodrigo Lopez. Or in Q speak, Dougie, Russ, Case and Lopey.
In keeping with the spirit, here’s the Cubs lineup:
Barney (no known nickname), 2B
DeWitt (see Barney above), LF
The Cubs are facing Astros righty Brett Myers, who is 11-3 with a 2.15 ERA lifetime against them. Oh, and the Cubs are trying to avoid a series sweep to the last-place Astros.
Quite the day here already. Not only did we have the owner doing a quick get-in and get-out with the media, we also had Big Z showing us his strong “soccer legs” and then going through a sort-of demonstration of how to break a bat over said legs. He also said he wants the media to be more positive. Yeah, we can be really positive about how Z has pitched this year.
The bat-breaking thing was much ado about nothing. Manager Mike Quade says he has talked with Z about it and would rather have him not do that.
Speaking of talking with guys named Carlos, Q said he talked with Carlos Pena about chasing first pitches last night against rookie Jordan Lyles, making his first big-league start.
“That’s the thing I find ironic about it,” Q said. “He, without question, has been our most disciplined guy, and he got after 3 first pitches. OK, he liked the pitches to hit. I was a little disappointed in the approach. We’ve got some guys who walk and some guys who don’t. We’re third in the league in on-base percentage. I’ll take that all day long.”
Matt Garza threw 30 pitches off the mound today. Q said the news is good and that “Garz” will do another side this weekend in St. Louis and then coming off the DL next week to start in Cincinnati.
Marlon Byrd stopped (longer than Ricketts) to talk with us. “Doing good,” he said. “Getting better. The eye’s fully healed. Waiting for the fractures to heal. Maybe next week I can start exerting some more energy, doing some running, doing some heavy lifting. It’s progressing.”
Marlon said the injury is a 4-to-6-week proposition. He’s got to be careful so the fractures heal completely. It'll be two weeks Saturday since he was hit in the face by a pitched ball in Boston.
Casey Coleman picked up the victory as Class AAA Iowa beat Nashville 7-2. Augie Ojeda played in his first game and went 2-for-3 with 2 walks. Bryan LaHair extended a hitting streak to five games.
Class AA Tennesssee beat Huntsville 2-1. Righty Nick Struck worked 6 innings in getting a no-decision. He gave up 5 hits and 1 run while walking two and striking out four. It was Struck’s Double-A debut. At Class A Daytona, he was 6-2 with a 3.42 ERA. Matt Spencer (.300) went 3-for-4. Rafael Dolis earned the win in relief.
Daytona’s 12-game winning streak ended with a 7-0 loss to Charlotte. Dae-Eun Rhee took the loss, going 4.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs.
As we reported last night, Hayden Simpson had a very short outing at Lansing in an 8-4 loss. Simpson, last year’s No. 1 draft choice, lasted only two-thirds of an inning, giving up 2 hits and 5 runs while walking three and striking out one.