Opponent: Pittsburgh Pirates
Result: L (0-1)
- The pitching, up until that last pitch, was great. If Samardzija can pitch this efficiently 70-80% of the time, I’ll take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about him. Strop, Grimm and Russell were all effective.
- Emilio Bonifacio was so close entering Tuffy Rhodes territory with his 4-hit/1 SB/1 beautiful double play from center field debut.
- The offense, as expected, had a tough time with Francisco Liriano, but they did make him work, as he racked up 104 pitches in six innings (compared to Shark needing just 89 to get through seven innings).
- Castro and Barney had no hits, but did walk once each. So, uh, hurray OBP! Oh, Castro also had some nice, “head’s up” plays in the field, which made Skip Bayless sad.
- 0-11 with RISP, including 0-3 from Anthony Rizzo is about as bad as it gets. Again though, Liriano was masterful and struggles against an elite pitcher aren’t a great cause for concern.
- Bonifacio was so good, but must also be dinged for being picked off first base in the top of the tenth inning and being thrown out at home in the eighth.
- Saving the worst for last, Carlos Villanueva failed to properly wax his ‘stache and gave up the game winning home run. Should Renteria have gone with a harder thrower, with Rondon and Schlitter still on the bench? I’m sure some think so; my best guess is that he was hoping Villanueva could go a few innings if needed, saving the power arms in case the Cubs took the lead. That’s fine with me.
- “Fans” complaining about the road uniforms, as though they look any different than years past.
- The person who tweeted that Theo needs to set guidelines for when Renteria can call for a bunt – I’m sorry, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard (yay, hyperbole!). I mean, I’m not a huge fan of the sacrifice bunt, but for Christ’s sake, he only called it three times in a very close game (successful twice, Shark completely blew the other one – again, it’s hard to bunt with fins).
- Lastly, this awful day off after opening day. Hurray, 24 more hours to read about everyone completely over-reacting about game one. Just lovely.