Here we go. The Cubs are 1-4 and have blown 3 of those games in the 8th inning or later. The other loss they committed 6 (should have been 7) errors. They also lead the league currently in runners left on base at just over 19 per game.
They can’t find a single bullpen arm that is going to give them any sort of stability. Somehow Kintzler has been their best bullpen arm and that makes NO sense. The good news? It’s only 5 games. The bad news is that there is certainly no sign of this bullpen getting any better. Brandon Morrow will return from the IL and give them some help, until he likely finds his way right back on the IL. This has been a problem since the end of last season and the Cubs did nothing to address it over the last 5 months. That starts from the top and is not trickling down to the field. There are some interesting arms in AAA that were definitely in contention this spring in Junichi Tazawa, Allen Webster, and Kyle Ryan. Is it possible the Cubs can find a couple of those guys to contribute? Sure, but that is not likely a solution to a problem that can easily derail this season. I wouldn’t expect Cishek to have a lot of games like last night, but pitching poorly appears to be contagious. The Cubs need to get out of the funk ASAP.
Not to be any more nervous, but Yu Darvish gets the call tonight. His first start was more of the Darvish we’ve seen in a Cub uniform. His raw stuff is some of the best I have ever seen. Unfortunately his mental game which turns into his command appear to still be not quite there. We’re all hoping he can simplify his game a bit and throw more strikes. The Cubs would love (need?) to get a quality start out of him tonight.
Infielder David Bote signed an extension that takes him through his arb years for 15 million. The deal includes two club options for his firs two years of free agency at about 7 million a season. Bote will be 32 and 33 for those years. Honestly its a pretty fair deal to give Bote the stability and the Cubs hopefully a good deal if he keeps developing like he has shown he could.
The Cubs have one more pretty big game tonight in Atlanta before heading to Milwaukee for the weekend. The Brewers are an absolute wagon right now. This should be a real gut check time for the Cubs to see what kind of season they will really have. Quintana will be the starter Friday against Milwaukee where he seems to always enjoy a bit of success. This is a different Brewers team than ones he has faced in the past however. Home opener is Monday against the Pirates, a series that will take us through next Thursday. Also – Happy Opening Day for the minor leagues! Maybe the Tennessee Smokies can close out ball games.