A blind squirrel just found a nut. Our two best players are Jhoulys Chacin and Nick Markakis, our shortstop is “one of the worst players in the majors” per Ken Rosenthal, our catcher can catch neither pitches nor popups, our team batting average is .224, and our team ERA is 5.07. But we won one!
The defense was awful again, but Jhoulys Chacin was dealing again. He gave up a run in the first after an error by Freddie, pitched around a passed ball by A.J. Pierzynski in the second, and pitched around a dropped foul pop-up by Pierzysnki in the 4th. He took 91 pitches to get through five plus innings — pretty effective innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, with four strikeouts — so this was another Johnny Wholestaff night from the pen. Fredi used five relievers to get through the game, and they only allowed one more run, shutting the door admirably.
It was only the ninth game out of 22 played in which we held the opposition to fewer than four runs. And through those 22 games, we already have four relievers with double-digit appearances; three more have pitched in nine games. Basically, just about every reliever on the team is on a nearly every-other-day cadence.
There were also good things from the offense. Nick Markakis went 4-5 with a double and three RBI. Leadoff has been kind of a cursed spot for us for many years. Markakis may be the best we’ve had in a long, long time. Freddie Freeman went 3-4 and raised his average 28 points, to .247; Mallex Smith went 3-4 with two doubles and raised his average 52 points, to .188.
Bring on the Cubbies!