Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: White Sox 7, Cubs 6

White Sox 7, Cubs 6
Quick Links: The Series Preview
MLB.com's box score

(Editor's note: I'm still working on the best Recap graphic, just so you know.  It probably won't look like this in April.) 

Last night's televised game started ridiculously late, and I have a feeling that there weren't too many Chicagoans who stayed up to see the final score.  We were all probably sleeping - or trying to, like in my case - when the Cubs coughed up the lead late in the game and lost on a Ben Brossard single off David Patton in the 9th.

Probably more importantly, this game may have dealt a crushing blow to Jeff Samardzija's chances of making the opening day roster as the 5th starter.  He gave up 3 runs in 3 innings of work while striking out 2.

Offensively, the Cubs didn't have many problems scoring runs - especially in the middle innings when they racked up 5 of their 6.  Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot both had big days, combining to go 5 for 8 with 1 RBI, 3 runs scored, a double, and a triple, although most of the damage was done against Jon Van Benschoten who probably has as much of a chance of cracking the White Sox roster as George Bell does.

The Cubs started out undefeated and are now 5-4.  That's not exactly a big deal.  The important thing is that the right guys put up good enough numbers to earn the roles they're capable of playing.  Mike Fontenot's hitting well enough to start over Aaron Miles.  Micah Hoffpauir is hitting well enough to crack the roster.  Whether the Cubs win or lose in the meantime isn't so important.

Later today the Cubs will be playing the White Sox again, also on WGN.  We'll have a GameCast up for you to follow along.

This Game Recap brought to you by Bench Aaron Miles!

Love the "Quick Links."

Love the "Quick Links."

Also didn't Patton give up

Also didn't Patton give up the 9th inning single?

That would explain why he

That would explain why he was attributed the loss

Samardzija

It seems somewhat over-reactive to say this may have dealt a 'crushing' blow. He made a mistake pitch to Betemit which got out of the park with a little help from the wind.

He hit a guy, but he did strikeout 2 and walk none. After the Betemit homer, his whiff of Tyler Flowers was a thing of beauty.

Seems to me there's still a lot of time left to pick the 5th starter. I am candidly hoping Jeff starts in Iowa and Aaron Heilman wins the job, but I still think it's not even remotely decided.

Samardzija & Guzman

Samardzija's outing wasn't too bad, and if you listened to Lou talk about him during his interview he only had good things to say about the guy. Sure he gave up a 3 run bomb to Betemit, but the wind was blowing out 15+ mph to dead center the entire game. Listening to Lou, Len, & Bob talk about Samardzija they keyed in on the fact that the development of his slider will basically dictate how his progression as a starter goes. All-in-all, I think its pretty encouraging to see the Shark working as a starter where he's working to stretch out his innings while making his case to prove that he deserves a spot on the roster.

I was quite impressed with Angel Guzman as well last night. He came out of the bullpen late in the game, and to me he looked like a late-inning reliever. He was spotting a 93-94 mph fastball on the corners, getting ahead of hitters, and featured a pretty nasty breaking ball of some sort that completely fell off the table. While watching him I couldn't help but think back to when the cubs moved Marmol from a starter to the bullpen and he took off. If Guzman can maintain his health and effectiveness, then I would say he is a far more valuable piece to the pitching staff than Chad Gaudin.

Never really did, and still

Never really did, and still really don't see Chad Gaudin being a major contributor to the 2009 Cubs.

Chad Gaudin

I was a bit skeptical of what the cubs could realistically expect from Gaudin from the start, especially after the A's just threw him in the Harden deal. From what I've seen of him on the mound with the cubs so far, he doesn't appear to be talented enough or deserving of a spot on this roster. If Guzman can remain healthy, I would guess that Gaudin turns into cajun trade bait. From the standpoint of Gaudin's stuff, I don't think he has pitches that are effective enough to contribute as a starter or reliever - he comes more from the Marquis-mold of being an inning-eater or mop-up reliever at best. Basically, Gaudin doesn't bring enough to the table to earn himself a cubs' jersey with his name and number on the back of it once spring training ends.

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