Lesson learned for Cash? (Game Recap: Cubs 1, Astros 6)
"Rough night for Cash," says Chief, and really I'm pretty sure that's all it was.
Neither the Cubs nor the Astros were able to score through the first 6.5 innings of last night's game in Houston. Ted Lilly and, to an even greater extent, Brett Myers were both sharp.
So bottom seven, Andrew Cashner is on the mound, and the kid throws a high-and-inside fastball to Humberto Quintero that, in my mind, the guy could easily have dodged. It looked like he leaned in for a split second before jerking back, and so he got hit. That was a dick move. Classic Rod Stilenovich rally starter.
Alright, so pressure's on, tied scoreless game, 'Stros pinch-run for Quintero with this Jason Bourgeois cat, who's fast. Astro starter Brett Myers is up, looking to lay down the bunt, but before he has a chance to do so, Bourgeois steals 2nd.
This is an appropriate time to relay to you the factoid I heard during last night's broadcast, which is that Koyie Hill is something like 3-for-25 in throwing out base runners this season. If that's true, then what the hell is this guy good at? He certainly can't hit -- and when I say "can't hit," I mean he literally cannot make contact between the bat and the ball. Are we sure Hill is better than Castillo, Chirinos, Clevenger, Brenly, et al?
As for the rest of the inning, a quick sum: Myers bunts, JB goes to 3B with one out. Pinella IBBs Michael Bourn to keep the double play in order, but then Angel Sanchez drops a bunt into the dead zone between Cash and Hill, allowing the fleet-footed JB to score. Hunter Pence singles, Carlos Lee walks, Cash hits Jeff Keppinger with a pitch, and then gives up a grand slam to Lance Berkman.
It was a stressful situation for Cashner, with absolutely zero help provided by the guy behind the plate. Honestly, let's replace Hill with Castillo or whoever like right now.
On the bright side, Tyler Colvin went 2-for-4, with a double and a homer that would lead to the Cubs' only run. Among players with at least 250 plate appearances, Colvin leads the National League in isolated slugging (SLG - AVG, a measure of raw power). And guess who's in last place in the NL? Hint's in the Shout Box.
Finally, I salute Ted Lilly for 3.5 years of brave service to the Cub cause. This guy is a true winner; doesn't have the 93-95mph heater, but clearly wants to win every night so very badly. Whether he ends up with the Twins or the Dodgers (the frontrunners for his services, according to Bruce Miles), I hope he gets the chance to start in the playoffs that he deserved in 2008 but never received.
You will be missed, TRL.