Oswalt Assault (Game Recap: Cubs 3, Astros 4)
When an offense scores five runs, that team really should win the game; and when a pitching staff allows five runs in a game, it's hard to blame the bats if the team does end up losing.
On the flip side, it's hard to really get on anybody when pitchers allow three or fewer runs over nine innings. I guess there could be a blown save in a game like that, but still, if your offense only scores one or two runs, the game is kinda on them, I think. And yes, of course there are exceptions in both cases, and the best teams will find ways to win under any circumstances.
But then you have a game like today's decided by a score of 4-3. Starter Tom Gorzelanny certainly didn't shut the Astros down during the three innings he pitched, but two runs on three singles and a bunch of ground outs... that's rough. And don't blame Font for not turning the double play there: if you watched, you saw Pence make a good hard slide into second to break it up. Or maybe you want to blame Fontenot, in which case I can't stop you.
None of the relief pitchers were hammered either. Jeff Gray made one mistake to JR Towles that really almost didn't make it out of the park (keyword almost), and Justin Berg got burned by a floater into center which scored a runner from second. Again: neither was really bad. Furthermore, James Russell and his 0.00 ERA, and Sean Marshall -- who struck out the side in the top of the ninth -- were both pretty great.
On offense, the Cubs managed nine hits, four of which were doubles (one each from Soto, Lee, Ramirez and Soriano). The problem may have been patience, however -- no one managed to draw a walk. Although, honestly, Oswalt was totally on today, so perhaps there weren't any bad pitches to take.
I guess what I'm saying is, it's hard to blame any one or three people for this loss. It was a close game that the Cubs ended up on the wrong side of in the end. I suppose game balls go to Marshall, for his three ninth inning strikeouts, and Soto and Soriano for each going 2-for-4 with a double (although we might take the ball back from Fonz for that stupid looking error in the top of the fifth).
But, all in all, whatever. Indeed, over the course of a season you do win some, and you also lose some.
Tomorrow, we go for the series win. Go Cubbos.