The Chicago Cubs played a great all-around game last night against the Atlanta Braves until the 8th inning. The bats were driving in runs and the pitchers were throwing strikes. All Cubs fans know our team needs to pile on as many runs as they can given the “issues” of the late relievers. No lead is secure for the Cubs. Going into the 8th inning the Cubs led the Braves 5-1.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and David DeJesus came to the plate. Manager Dale Sveum let DeJesus swing away instead of making the smart move. DeJesus is the Cubs best bunter. A bunt down the first base line scores a run and moves two runners into scoring position for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. Instead, DeJesus grounded weekly to 2nd and Dan Uggla threw home for an easy fielders choice. Castro and Rizzo both made outs and the Cubs didn’t add on any more runs.
The Cub’s coaching staff needs to make smarter decisions in key situations. Sure enough, the Braves scored three in the 8th to make it a one run game and then Carlos Marmol came in for the 9th. Doom and gloom quickly ensued. Marmol gave up home runs to both Upton brothers! At least it was a happy night in the Upton household.
Now, Sveum will have to take a look at the closer situation. While obviously a change needs to be made in that department, maybe Sveum should be looking in the mirror after the loss last night. A run or two more in the 8th probably would have secured a win.
By Reid Lester