One more to go before the Cubs get back home to face Dusty and the Reds this weekend, with Washington to follow. The Cubs lost the first five games of this trip before winning the next four. According to the Cubs, it's the first time the Cubs lost at least the first give games of a road trip and immediately followed that with a winning streak of at least four games on the same trip since June 4-June 22, 1920, when the club lost the first seven games of a trip before winning the next six contests.
Umpire Bob Davidson moves down to third base (in front of the Pirates dugout) after his egregious performance of last night, when he kicked out both Tyler Colvin and Cubs manager Mike Quade. That had TV analyst Bob Brenly wondering on the air how Davidson has a job. Agreed. MLB should never let Davidson and other umpires who quit back into the game. Too often, Davidson and a few others feel the need to insinuate themselves into the game.
Reminds me of an amusing story about Davidson, though. Many years back, I was flying out of Phoenix after a Cubs-Diamondbacks series. Davidson was sitting across the aisle from and one row ahead of me and trying to go to sleep as it was a morning flight after a night game. Two fans were talking a balk from the night before. Don't know if "Balking Bob" called the balk or not, but the fans went on for a few minutes. Clearly annoyed, Davidson roused himself, turned to the fans and said, "He didn't come to a discernible stop!" True story.
Starlin Castro is hot. He had 3 hits last night and has 9 in the first three games of the series. Castro has 142 hits, which ties him with the Mets' Jose Reyes for most in the NL. Castro is on pace for 207 hits this year. Last night was his 18th game of the season with at least 3 hits. That's also tops in the NL. Castro is the first Cub with 3 hits in three straight games since Derrek Lee, April 13-16, 2008.
More stuff from the game notes: The Cubs have 3 shutouts this season, all by a 1-0 score. They now have eight 1-0 wins since the start of the 2010 season, including five 1-0 victories last season. The Cubs did not have any 1-0 wins during the two seasons between 2008-09.
Cubs pitchers have 13 quality starts in their last 19 games. The starters have a 1.90 ERA (18 ER/85.1 IP) in the 13 quality starts, with the club going 9-4 in those games. Cubs starters have a 10.31 ERA (34 ER/29.2 IP) in the team's 6 non-quality starts. For the season, the Cubs are 31-16 in quality-start games, with the starters having an ERA of 1.98 in those starts. When they don’t get a quality start, the Cubs are 15-49, with the starters having an ERA of 8.16 in those starts.
Class AAA Iowa beat Fresno 9-4. Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register talked with Iowa GM San Bernabe and others about the rough season the I-Cubs are having. The organization recently called up prospects Brett Jackson, Ryan Flaherty and DJ LeMahieu to Iowa. Bernabe says that's fine with him.
"I've always told the Cubs I'd rather lose 90 games with prospects who are learning than win 70 with guys that are trying to hang on and make the roster," Bernabe told the Register.
In last night's game, Jackson extended a hit streak to three games as he went 2-for-3 with 2 walks. Chris Rusin got a no-decision, working 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 2 runs while walking one and striking out four.
Class AA Tennessee beat Birmingham 5-4 for the Smokies' fifth in a row. Austin Bibens-Dirkx worked 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs. Jim Adduci (.350) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. Jae-Hoon Ha extended a hitting streak to four games, going 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI. Rafael Dolis (7-5) recorded the win, pitching 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 8 appearances (11 IP).
Class A Daytona beat Lakeland 4-3. Jeffry Antigua did not get the decision, as he worked 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs, 3 earned. He walked one and struck out six. Matt Szczur (.273) was 2-for-5 with a run and a stolen base, his fifth. Justin Bour (.283) reached base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and an RBI. He leads the team doubles (25) and RBI (75).
Peoria (A) beat Burlington 5-2. Richard Jones hit a hit a homer in the bottom of the seventh, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. Jones is batting .309. Frank Del Valle got the win, working 5 innings and giving up 2 hits and 1 run.
Boise (A) beat Salem-Keizer 3-2. Ben Wells got the win, pitching 5 innings and giving up 5 hits and 1 run. Paul Hoilman hit his 11th homer. Pin-Chieh Chen (.295) was 1-for-2 with 2 walks and 2 stolen basis. Former outfielder Kyler Burke picked up a hold, working 3-1 innings of relief, allowing 1 unearned run on 3 hits while striking out five.