It’s just 1

Posted: April 7, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
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The baseball off season was very exciting in Chicago. The Cubs went out and signed the top starting pitcher on the market (Jon Lester) to a 6 year $155 million dollar deal. They also signed Jason Hammel to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal to round out the starting rotation. The Cubs also sent Dan Straily and Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros to get centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Now not to be out done the White Sox added 3 players of their own. They signed left handed power hitter Adam LaRoche to a 2 year $25 million dollar deal. They also inked Melky Cabrera to a 3 year $42 million dollar free agent deal. Then the White Sox sent Rangel Ravelo, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien to the Oakland A’s for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

Now after these signings and deals most if not all fans of Chicago baseball where looking forward to opening day. Well opening day was Sunday night for the Cubs and yesterday (Monday) for the White Sox. Both teams lost their opener. The Cubs 3-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals and the White Sox 10-1 to the Kansas City Royals. Now what surprised me was how after each of these losses was how quickly the excitement that was there in the off season quickly turned to negativity and dislike for each team.

We have two radio stations in Chicago that cover sports 24/7. There’s the one that offers national coverage with a couple of local shows added in; this is the one Dan the Man listens to. Then there’s the station that focuses on just Chicago teams and that’s the one I listen to. I was actually caught off guard with some of the callers to the overnight show I was listening to after both games. I heard everything from wait until next year to the Cubs wasted their money on Lester and the White Sox made a bad trade for Samardzija. It was just 1 game. There are 161 more games left this season.

The Cubs had some good scoring chances and just didn’t get that hit when they needed it. Do fans really think the Cubs will go 0-13 with runners in scoring position every game. They should also factor in that the pitcher they where facing was Adam Wainwright; who is a Top 10 or maybe even a Top 5 pitcher in baseball. Now Lester didn’t have a great outing, but he found a way to limit the damage when he had to. Remember that Lester had some dead arm issues towards the end of spring training and he has to work his way through that. There where 2 things that concerned me with the 1st Cubs game. Lester not being able to make pick off throws to the bases is one. Now he he doesn’t let any runners get on base this won’t be an issues, but you’d have to think that any team who gets a runner on against him would take a shot at stealing a base. The other one was the batting order. I’ve heard all of the reasoning for hitting the pitcher 8th and they always sound like excuses to me. It came back to bite the Cubs a little as Lester came up with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs. Now 1st base was open and they could’ve worked around a guy to get to Lester anyway, but there was no decision involved with Lester at the plate because he was in the 8th spot. I think this move was Joe Maddon trying to prove he’s a wacky guy and he’ll go against the grain. Or it was just a sad cry for attention.

With the White Sox it looks like it was a bad outing for your pitchers. Samardzija really struggled through 6 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out just 1 batter. Samardzija had some control issues as well as he walked 3; hit 2 batters and uncorked a wild pitch. The fans will dump all of the blame on Samardzija since he was the big guy they picked up in the off season, but the 2 pitchers who followed him weren’t any better. The White Sox picked up Dan Jennings to help shore up the bullpen and get lefties out. Jennings struggled on opening day just like Samardzija did. Jennings pitched 2/3rds of an inning gave up 3 runs on just 1 hit while walking 2 (1 intentionally) and striking out 1. Kyle Drabek was the next White Sox pitcher out of the bullpen. Drabek pitched an 1 1/3rd giving up 2 runs on 6 hits with 1 strikeout. Call it opening day jitters or just a bad outing, but don’t forget that the Royals are the defending American League champions and while they haven’t gotten a lot of respect from the baseball experts this off season maybe they’re better than people thought. Maybe you could add in that Yordano Ventura was the Royals opening day starter and he’s an up and coming pitcher in the game of baseball. Ventura along with Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Ryan Madson held the White Sox to 5 hits, but 1 of them was a Jose Abreu home run. If yoou noticed last season that’s the Royals formula for winning. 6 innings out of the starter and an inning each out of 3 relievers to wrap the game up. Hopefully White Sox fans can let this game go unless you think Samardzija is as bad as he was on opening day.

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